Sunday, January 2, 2011

Shrek Forever After

Directed by Mike Mitchell.
2010. Rated PG, 93 minutes.
Mike Myers
Cameron Diaz
Eddie Murphy
Antonio Banderas
Walt Dorhn
Jane Lynch
Craig Robinson
Julie Andrews
John Cleese
Jon Hamm

Shrek (Myers) is struggling with the monotony of family life, and the loss of privacy brought on by the celebrity his adventures have earned him. He longs for the days when he was a single, and feared, ogre, free to take a mud bath in peace. This leads him to sign a deal with Rumplestilskin (Dohrn) for just one day to enjoy as the monster he once was. If you’ve paid any attention to the first three movies in the series, you know things in Far Far Away are never quite so easy. Needless to say, the deal comes with plenty of strings attached. Suffice it to say that Shrek once again finds himself trying to find true love’s kiss.

In keeping with the direction the franchise has taken, this fourth installment is a more straight-forward adventure than the ruthless deconstruction of the fairy-tale that was the original. Here, Shrek finds himself in an alternate reality and Fiona to be the leader of “the resistance” against the rule of Rumplestilskin. There’s lots of swashbuckling and Shrek trying to convince everyone that what he’s saying is true. There are lots of references to the original movie, but like I said not as much of that same style of humor. There is some, such as when we first meet The Pied Piper. When it goes down that road is when it is most successful. That said, there are other moments that work quite well.

Forever After suffers from predictability and constantly using the original as a crutch. It also gives its action scenes more responsibility. The franchis is at its best when the action supplements the humor. This movie has it reversed, the humor only supplements the action, and it is less intriguing because of it. However, its still a fun ride that for all its flaws, is a step up from the lackluster Shrek the Third.

MY SCORE: 6.5/10

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