Movie Review Rewind: Shrek Forever After (2010)
After seeing Shrek the Third, I remember thinking that this animated franchise was losing its magic. The third movie was not bad, but it was not nearly as good as the two before it. Now we have Shrek Forever After (also being called The Final Chapter) and it is official: Shrek has run its course in the movie world.
Shrek Forever After tries to take you back physically and emotionally to the original Shrek, but it cannot happen. The story takes the plot of It’s A Wonderful Life and tries to make it something that it is not. Shrek is a husband and a father. And while he loves his family, every day has become the same. He is not the ogre he used to be and he craves to be the roaring and fearing green monster he was a long time ago. He has become an attraction and feels that he is a joke to everyone in Far Far Away.
This puts Shrek in a desperate position to make a deal with Rumpelstiltskin. For one day, Shrek can be the ogre he once was, but Rumpelstiltskin takes a day away from him. Supposedly a day from Shrek’s childhood that he wouldn’t even be able to remember. Well that day he takes away is the day Shrek was born. This sends Shrek in to an alternate Far Far Away where ogres are slaves and Rumpelstiltskin is King.
There is some good news to this alternate world and some bad news. The good news is that everyone fears Shrek, which is exactly what he wanted. He can be his old self again. However, the ones he loves do not know him. They have never met him. And Shrek has to be re-introduced to his friends, and has 24 hours to get a kiss from Fiona or he will cease to exist at all. That was the bad news, by the way.
Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers again) gets to see what Far Far Away could have been like if he was never born and never got the chance to rescue Fiona. Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy) is enslaved to the witches and is used as a form of transportation. Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz again) is the leader of a revolution and wants to take down Rumpelstiltskin and his kingdom. And Puss-in-Boots (voiced by Antonio Banderas) is a very fat cat that cannot even fit in to his boots. This version of Far Far Away is not a pretty sight.
And though the concept for this fourth Shrek movie is interesting, the way the story is told resembles nothing that is fresh or original. The audience is excited to see their favorite characters back onscreen, but it becomes disappointing when those characters offer nothing new and are just there to be there. There are two characters that carry their own weight and have some funny scenes: Puss-in-Boots and Rumpelstiltskin.
Rumpelstiltskin (voiced by Walt Dohrn, who is a story editor for Dreamworks Animation) is a great villain. He is very scheming, creepy, and sneaky. He lives up to his full potential. And he has a history with Shrek that dates back to the original, which adds to the story quite nicely. As far as the other character (Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey), they lost their chemistry and wit. There are very few laughs at all in this movie, but when there are it does not involve the original three main characters and that is very disappointing.
Shrek Forever After does have heart and a nice message about family and friends, and how important they are in your life and how they add to your happiness. And this installment is not a failure. It does offer some entertainment. But as far as Shrek movies go, this is the dullest and less-interesting one of all four movies. There is only so much you can do with a character and Shrek the Third should have been the final chapter.
“Nature Boy” Brandon Vick is the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter@SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.