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Shrek Forever After (2010)

A movie directed by Mike Mitchell

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3.5 stars for a familiar friend that is running out of steam

  • May 24, 2010
  • by
SHREK FOREVER AFTER feels like a really good episode of a much loved TV show. For me, the first SHREK movie was something really new, a pop-culture referring, smart-alecky spin on fairy tales, with delightfully new characters and an animation style we hadn't seen before. It was genuinely touching at times, but mostly hilarious and eye-popping. SHREK 2 turned up the hilarity quotient and introduced Puss, one of the finest supporting characters in animation since Sebastian the Crab grace THE LITTLE MERMAID. With SHREK 3, the series had settled into comfortable familiarity. I smiled more than I laughed...it was clever, but had no thrill of being NEW anymore. And in this latest film, it felt extremely familiar...like a TV series.

First , it's important to note that an enjoyment of SHREK FOREVER AFTER (hereafter called SHREK 4) pretty much requires having seen the other 3 movies. There is essentially no exposition. We see Shrek and his family a few days before the First Birthday party for his three children. While Shrek is enjoying a life of domestic bliss, he's also feeling a little trapped. He can't even enjoy a good dip in some hot mud without having to first work on the plumbing in the outhouse. His kids wake him up too early every morning. His friend Donkey is constantly dropping by with HIS kids and consuming Shrek's evenings. And when the day of the party arrives, Shrek realizes that he misses being a bachelor and a feared Ogre. Now little kids ASK him to do his Ogre-roar and sign autographs...instead of running in fear. I guess Shrek is having a mid-life crisis.

But this being a magical kingdom, when Shrek idly wishes he could have "just one day" back during his wilder days...the nasty, spiteful little Rumplestiltskin grants him his wish in a fairly one-side bargain. Shrek is instantly transported to his past, but finds that things have changed. Rumple now rules the kingdom, and is served by witches. The ogres are a hunted species and humans are destitute and living in fear. And none of Shrek's old friends recognize him. His beloved Fiona is now a resistance leader among the ogres, and she has little interest in Shrek. But it turns out, he must win her love again within a day, or this retelling of the past will become permanent, and Shrek will puff out of existence.

This is all well and good, and certainly the movie has sufficient laughs. The pop culture references HAVE been toned down some, which is probably good. They were leaning towards becoming too much of a good thing in SHREK 3, when a lengthy sequence was devoted to making fun of HARRY POTTER...the in-jokes were becoming the point rather than a side note. The changes in Donkey and particularly Puss in Boots are fun. The animation is as good as ever...but there's nothing new either. It's just a visit with some old, familiar friends having some serious trouble.

The voice-over work (Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, etc. etc.) is perfectly fine. The soundtrack is perfectly in keeping with what we've had from these films before. (I will say, however, that I suspect this film may be less appealing to the little ones than the others. My youngest is 17, so I don't have a certainty about this...I just think that this film is more plot-driven than those in the past, and the time-travel stuff might confuse the littlest viewers.)

And the movie is in 3D, but never has 3D seemed more pointless. We're just becoming SO accustomed to the 3D experience now, and there were NO moments of "oooooh" popping out of the screen at the audience. Frankly, I mostly forgot the film WAS in 3D until it was time to take the glasses off and drop them in the recycle bin on the way out.

If you've seen the first film, do you remember how joyful the final scene was, when all the characters gathered and sang and partied to a variety of pop/rock hits? I remember wanting the scene to just keep going on, because I had experienced such a joyful and NEW movie, and didn't want it to end. SHREK 4 has a similar scene (as did all the other films), and when this one started, I was pretty much ready to head for the exits. There isn't anything actively wrong with the film...but there's nothing staggeringly RIGHT about it either.

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More Shrek Forever After (2010 movi... reviews
review by . December 09, 2010
Happily--without getting cliche'--'Shrek Forever After' bounces back from 'Shrek the (Mediocre) Third' with the trajectory needed that its predecessor lacked. The hero is in dire straits; the characters are in fine form; and the audience is spared from tired dialogue and unnecessary tangents found in the last outing. The plot, furthermore, is solid and stirring--with some really neat tie-ins to the other films. While the ideas are truly revitalized, this final (?) effort is, nevertheless, not as …
review by . March 16, 2011
Shrek Forever After is nothing like the quality of the first two, however it is much more watchable than the third. That being said, it does have its moments, but the story arc just feels like they ran out of ideas and were just trying to milk the franchise for all its worth. However, the voice cast is still good and the movie is technically brilliant as always, though I can't speak for the 3D. I also found that Rumplestiltskin was a very funny villain, although not quite as good as Prince Charming …
review by . May 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
In 2001 Dreamworks lit up the Animation World when they released Shrek.  At the time the movie was a clever satire (and mockery) of what Disney had bee producing for the years prior.  A much more vibrant fairy tale that inspired so many animated films to try and break from the mold of always having to be the sort of Disneyesque fairy tale that such films as Disney classic Princess movies were.  For the longest time it seemed like only Dreamworks could make such a film.  Shrek …
review by . January 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Falling in Love All Over Again!
So, any guy would wonder what he has signed up for after getting married and having to work his *s* off to feed his 3 kids, even if he married the princess! Hey, don’t those little kids remind you of cabbage patch kids?! So, what does DreamWorks do? Bring the guy back to his heroic moments and relived his greatness and with that hopefully the magic of romance would be back!       It’s all about finding love **again**! For both Shrek and Fiona, who had history …
Quick Tip by . December 28, 2010
Good news that it's the final chapter! Capitalizing on its success over and over again is just not the way to do it, imho.The story simply gets old. I did have fun watching it coz this is the 2nd of the series that I watched.
Quick Tip by . December 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Its not as good as the 1st and 2nd movies but more entertaining than the 3rd. The shrek series is still a major improvement over many other kids movies today though!My 2 yr old neice loves it especially the music.
review by . May 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
"Shrek Forever After" (if that is its real title) achieves exactly what it wanted to achieve simply by being a fun animated comedy with characters we've come to love. Still, for something so heavily promoted as being the final chapter, I'm surprised at how small and ordinary it seemed. Movies like this should end with a bang, emotionally and physically; they should not go from beginning to end on a slow and steady burn. By the end, most will feel as if they've been entertained. I felt that way. …
review by . June 18, 2010
Shrek Forever After is the fourth and supposedly final entry in the series of films chronicling the comical adventures of a green ogre by the name of Shrek. The first film released in 2001 was an instant hit. In 2004 it was followed by Shrek 2 which was also a delightfully entertaining animated-comedy. Then in 2007 the series took a misstep with Shrek the Third which was forgettable to say the least. Now we have Shrek Forever After which, though not as bad as Shrek the Third, still doesn't measure …
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Please, please, please - let this franchise die already. The third movie killed it and the 4th only buried it deeper.
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The story is pretty simple and the movie is pretty short, but you get the feeling after watching it that the light bulb must be flickering just before it goes out. The heart and soul of what made the Shrek movies so good is almost completely gone.. To keep the franchise going at this point would be like forcing a kid with a broken leg to walk. It just seems cruel. Shrek had a decade of making us laugh, and we salute him for it. Which is why perhaps it's time to send the big green ogre off to a well …
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I've got my own site, www.afilmcritic.com, on which I'm posting my reviews. I am 46 years old, married 25 years, two kids (23 & 18) and currently work in accounting/finance. I spent 15 years … more
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Shrek Forever After in US theaters May 21, 2010 starring Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Ian McShane. Shrek (Mike Myers) has become a domesticated family man. Instead of scaring villagers away like he used to, a reluctant

After challenging an evil dragon, rescuing a beautiful princess and saving your in-laws’ kingdom, what’s an ogre to do? Well, if you’re Shrek, you suddenly wind up a domesticated family man. Instead of scaring villagers away like he used to, a reluctant Shrek now agrees to autograph pitch forks. What’s happened to this ogre’s roar? Longing for the days when he felt like a “real ogre,” Shrek is duped into signing a pact with the smooth-talking dealmaker, Rumpelstiltskin. Shrek suddenly finds himself in a twisted, alternate version of Far Far Away, where ogres are hunted, Rumpelstiltskin is king and Shrek and Fiona have never met. Now, it’s up to Shrek to undo all he’s done in the hopes of saving his friends, restoring his world and reclaiming his one True Love.

Poster art for "Shrek Forever After."

Shrek Forever Afterdelivers laughs, life lessons, and a striking picture of the realities of parenthood in this surprisingly good, fourthShrekfilm. Like the original film, this fractured fairytale works because of the humor--it pokes fun at the whole fairytale genre on a multitude of intellectual levels while simultaneously offering visual humor that's ...
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Director: Mike Mitchell
Release Date: May 21, 2010
Studio: Paramount Pictures

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