Thursday, May 20, 2010

Review: Shrek Forever After

Grade: C-

The charming ogre, Shrek, is back. He and Fiona are happily married with three children. Although, when Shrek begins to realize that his life has fallen into a rut, he begins to pine for the old days when he was a feared and powerful ogre. After a breakdown at one of his children’s birthday parties, Shrek encounters Rumpelstiltskin who writes up a magical contract that will allow Shrek to live like the ogre he once was. Only catch is he has to give up a day that Rumpel chooses. Unfortunately for Shrek, Rumpel chose the day Shrek was born. Now in this topsy turvy world, Shrek has only one day to get Fiona to fall in love with him again in order to make the contract null and void. The problem is that Fiona is now a fierce ogre planning an attack on, the now king of Far Far Away, Rumpelstiltskin.

I really hope that the people at DreamWorks stick to their word and that this will truly be the final Shrek movie, because they certainly aren’t getting any better. I thought that they would learn their lesson with Shrek the Third, nobody cares if Shrek is having a mid-life crisis. What made the first two Shrek’s so great was the incorporation and twist on many of our favorite fairy tales. This one just didn’t really have that. There weren’t that many great jokes in it and all of the really funny stuff with Puss in Boots is in the trailer. In fact, the only part I really laughed at was when the Pied Piper showed up and started playing Beastie Boys “Sure Shot” on his flute. This movie sadly isn’t anywhere near as good as the first two Shrek’s and is just below Shrek the Third in my opinion. It just doesn’t capture the magic and humor that the earlier movies had.

Mike Myers (Austin Powers, Wayne’s World) is back as the lovable ogre, Shrek. Myers even seems like he’s barely got his heart in it anymore, granted part of that might be the righting, but his vocal performance just wasn’t quite there. Cameron Diaz (Charlie’s Angels, The Holiday) is back as well as Fiona. Diaz did a pretty good job but there just wasn’t anything special. Eddie Murphy (Imagine That, Bowfinger) is also back as Donkey. Murphy could have been funny if they didn’t simply try to reuse jokes from previous movies. Antonio Banderas (The Legend of Zorro, Once Upon A Time in Mexico) does the voice of a now very overweight Puss in Boots. Banderas was kind of funny at times but as I mentioned, all his really funny bits are in the trailer. The rest of the voice cast is rather great, but they do so little, and includes Julie Andrews, Jon Hamm, Craig Robinson, Walt Dohrn, Jane Lynch, Lake Bell, Kathy Griffin, Mary Kay Place, Kristen Schaal, Meredith Vieira, Ryan Seacrest, Larry King and Regis Philbin.

Unless you have kids, I really have to recommend that you wait to rent this one on DVD. It’s not that funny, it’s not that charming and the writing wasn’t that great on it. As I said, I hope this truly is the “Final Chapter.” Also, don’t waste your time with the IMAX or 3D, from what I could tell, it wouldn’t be that great and I wouldn’t want to pay that much to see this movie.

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