Film review: Shrek Forever After (2010), directed by Mike Mitchell
Shrek the Ogre (Mike Myers) is living his happily ever afters with his wife, Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), and their three ogre children. Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and his dragon-donkey hybrid children come along for playdates every day, and oh isn’t domestic life marvellous?
No, no it isn’t. Day in and day out, everything’s always the same and no one is afraid of Shrek any more, and he’s just about had it. After a bad incident on the children’s first birthday, he makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn), to have one, single day like in the good old days. In return, he just has to sign over a day from his childhood, one he doesn’t even remember.
Shrek says Rumpelstiltskin can help himself to any of them, he doesn’t care, and you can never guess which one the devious sorcerer goes for. After all, Shrek rescuing Fiona from that tower ruined Rumpelstiltskin’s chance of getting his hands on Far Far Away, and he’s not going to let that happen twice!
Also stars the voices of Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots, Julie Andrews as the Queen, John Cleese as King Harold, and Jon Hamm as Brogan, along with a whole host of other talented voice actors.
This is the final chapter in the Shrek saga. It’s still funny, colourful and pokes fun at fairytales. It’s very predictable, though, but it still managed to entertain and amuse.
If you’ve ever seen TV-series Once Upon a Time (or, gee wiz, read the fairytale itself), you know entering into agreements with Rumpelstiltskin is a very bad idea indeed. However, because it’s a predictable film, you’re never really concerned that things aren’t going to go well for Shrek in the end, so that he really will have a happily ever after.
The animation from Dreamworks is good, the characters are good, and most of them we know already. Donkey is still the same old Donkey, and Puss in Boots … well, he may have let himself go a little, but he can still make Those Eyes at you. And when he does, I can’t help laughing. It had me in stitches when his character was first introduced (in Shrek 2?), and it still has me in stitches now.
Most, if not all, parents can probably recognise themselves in Shrek, and how at first it’s great to be a parent, and then the daily slog just hits you and you sometimes wish you had your old life back, but if it came down to it, you would want to miss your kids for the world. Even if they can be ogres at times. Perhaps that bit is more for the grown-up generation watching this film.
For kids, it’s just a good ol’ animated romp about a megalomaniac little man who wants to take over the world. And fairytale creatures. And icky love stuff, like kissing, eeeewwwww.
Sure, it’s not as fresh a concept as the first film was when it came out, and Shrek Forever After isn’t particularly memorable, but it’s a good end to a decent tale. To make more films after this would definitely be to milk the concept a drop too far.
3.6 out of 5 wigs.