Directed By: Mike Mitchell
Written By: Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke
Staring: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Jon Hamm, John Cleese, Craig Robinson, Walt Dohrn, Jane Lynch, and Kathy Griffin
Okay, I know you don’t remember me but we’re married, and at the birthday party with some pigs and a puppet, the villagers and this boy kept saying ‘do the roar! do the roar!’ Then I punched the cake that the pigs ate, and the next thing I knew, my donkey fell in your waffle hole. -Shrek
Shrek Forever After………..exactly how many endings to Shrek will there be? The first two films were beacons of wonder, comedy, and smarts with a heart. A huge achievement for Dreamworks and two wondrous additions into the animation world duly enjoyable for adult and child. While Shrek The Third took a turn for the worst, it did feel like a fairly ended chapter in the story of Shrek, Fionna and the rest of their friends. A fourth Shrek film seemed unnecessary and one based on Shrek having a mid-life crisis becomes no more than beating a dead horse.
What was more disjointing than the idea of Shrek having a mid-life crisis is the depressing and dark tone the entire film takes. Even in the past when things go terribly wrong and the land of Far Far Away seems perilous at best, there is an upbeat tone that keeps Shrek feeling carefree and the sense that things will eventually right themselves. The journey to things righting themselves is a tumultuous and depressing one, that brought very little joy, and only tiny moments of humor that were unfortunately already advertised in the previews. Even the humor in general is recycled from former films, and lacking any original thought.
Why even bother rambling with the plot? You get it in the trailer. You get the whole film in the trailer. Shrek starts to miss being an Ogre (sound familiar-oh yes they covered this in two other films) and makes a deal with the devious Rumpelstiltskin to have one day of being an Ogre without the responsibilities of being a father or husband or iconic figure in the land of Far Far Away. Of course Stiltskin tricks Shrek and Shrek finds Far Far Away in a wreck as Stiltskin has taken over as leader, and Shrek is left with 24 hours to set things right.
The entire film feels boring and almost resentful. Besides the rehashing of old jokes and plot lines, even the introduction of new characters is hardly exciting, as it feels quite played out. There is nothing new to breath in, no real new story to explore, which as least Shrek The Third offered. If anything, the entire film felt lazy and heartless. The voice-overs didn’t even sound convinced of what they were saying.
Once again I opted to skip the 3D viewing even with the kiddos in tow. My oldest son seemed partially entertained, but my youngest who is the bigger Shrek fan was asking to leave halfway through the film. He never felt remotely compelled to leave “How To Train Your Dragon”, which seems to be where Dreamworks wisely put all their eggs this spring/summer season.
Not to say I expected a lot from this film, but I was hoping at the very least for something along the lines of Shrek The Third, maybe not as much heart, but at least entertaining. This final chapter will not find a way into my film collection and I doubt either of my kids will notice. Not worth the time, the money, and certainly the disappointment of having to watch one of my favorite fairy-tales completely ruined.