US Certificate: PG
Shrek (voice of Mike Myers) has all the makings of a happy lifegreat wife, three cute babies, friends who love himand hes starting to hate it. Gone are his loner days of terrorizing towns and rolling in mud, and he wishes for one day that he could escape the tedium of his currently idyllic life and be his old ogre self. Of course, he doesnt realize that making wishes when youre in a fairytale land usually leads to mayhem and shenanigans, and before you can say, Once upon a time , the big green guy has been tricked by a little weasely guy into signing away a day of his life, never realizing that when youre dealing with Rumpelstiltskin, you always need to read the fine print.
When the first Shrek movie roared its way onto screens, I dont think anyone knew what to expect, but what they got was the start of one of the most universally engaging animated franchises in historyand it wasnt even from Pixar or Disney! Shrek 2 was more of the same, adding in a few more memorable characters to the mix. Unfortunately the third installment was a little flat, compared to its predecessors, and it seemed that a bit of the magic was gone. Shrek Forever After, which says its the last feature film of the series, is still not up to the level of the first two, but its much better than the third, and its an enjoyable send-off to an unforgettable group of characters.
Its because these are such great characters, though, that when the script begins to sag, were all the more disappointed. Shrek has always been as much about the supporting cast as it has the lead ogre. That seems to be where this film falls a little shortplenty of Shrek and Fiona, but it feels a little light in the Donkey, and Puss in Boots doesnt really show up until more than halfway through. Also, it feels like there was a big opportunity missed with those witches, because theyre played as interchangeable, when really, what character archetype has a wider range of reference to draw from? One exception to the lack of side support is with tiny, villainous Rumpelstiltskin (voice of Walt Dohrn), a perfect itty-bitty bad guy with a love for wigs and a decidedly NON-superstar name voicing hima choice that works. When everyones together, it all works, and even though there arent as many clever references as in past films, that doesnt mean its not funny, just not AS funny.
It's Got: As always great animation, Funny moments, A satisfying end to a franchise
It Needs: A little more spark, More Puss in Boots, Better use of witches
All in all, its a good film, not a great one, but one that ends the series well, and one that the kids will love.