“Shrek Forever After” Movie Review (2010)

5/27/2010 Posted by Admin

Movie Review

“Shrek Forever After”

Directed by Mike Mitchell, written by Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke, 93 minutes, rated PG.

By Christopher Smith

Hollywood hasn’t run out of ideas--it just won’t risk bringing fresh ideas to the screen. In an effort to protect what’s increasingly a nine-figure investment, every new major release is second-guessed by legions of terrified executives, all fretting over how to protect the bottom line, which usually is by embracing a name brand.

The result? Too often, the films are safe, one note and rote, with audiences getting hammered by homogenization along the way.

That was the case with the last film in the “Shrek” franchise, "Shrek the Third," and in some ways, it’s the case with the slightly better (and presumably) last film in the franchise, “Shrek Forever After.” The movie features impressive animation and a few bright spots of humor, but its midsection is dull and unimaginative, a sterile effort served cold to the masses.

Working from John Klausner and Darren Lemke’s script, director Mike Mitchell (“Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo”) nudges “Shrek” into the 3D movement, but to what end? Already, 3D has become tired, if only because it’s quickly being used not as a way to deepen the art form, as “Avatar” and “Coraline” did, but to employ it as a gimmick, which doesn’t serve the film as much as it does the bottom line.
There is little in this movie worth pixilating your pants over.

The film finds Shrek (voice of Mike Myers) irritated that he has become less an ogre and more of a celebrity. Tour busses now hunt him down. He can’t use the outhouse without being bothered by someone wanting him to autograph a pitchfork. Beyond that, everything in his life is routine.

The triplets he had with Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) need to be fed, farted and burped. Time and again. Rinse and repeat. There’s no reprieve from it. Now in a slump, he wishes he could be feared again, which is where the movie’s new villain, Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn), comes in. He promises Shrek that he can have one full day of his old life back again if he signs a lengthy piece of paper peppered with small print. Shrek agrees--and bam! He’s back to being the old Shrek.

But at what cost? In this altered universe, Fiona doesn’t know him, and neither do Donkey (Eddie Murphy) or Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), the latter of whom has been coddled so much by Fiona, he has gained some serious weight, which offers the movie a handful of serious laughs. Meanwhile, along the periphery is the mincing Rumpelstiltskin, who tricked Shrek in ways that won’t be revealed here.

If the “Shrek” franchise proves anything, it’s just how far we’ve come since Pixar-Disney’s groundbreaking "Toy Story" hit theaters in 1995. Back then, the story mattered as much as the groundbreaking animation. The studios continue to see the importance placed on each, which is why they continue to win Academy Awards. Sometimes, you want to send notes to the terrified Hollywood executives mentioned above and shake them with the truth--what matters are the story and the characters, stupid, and that never will change.

Really, if you don’t have the best of them, you’re “Shrek” out of luck.

Grade: C+

View WeekinRewind.com's preview for "Shrek Forever After" below. What did you think of the movie?

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  1. Diana said...

    i love the movie

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