Genre: CG Animation
Director: Mike Mitchell
Cast: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy,
Antonio Banderas, Walt Dohrn, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Jane
Lynch, Lake Bell, Kathy Griffin, Jon Hamm, Kristin Schaal, Larry
King, Conrad Vernon, Aron Warner, Cody Cameron, Christopher
Knights, Ryan Seacrest, Chris Miller, Mike Mitchell
RunTime: 1 hr 33 mins
Released By: UIP
Official Website: http://www.shrek.com/
Opening Day: 20 May 2010
After challenging an evil dragon, rescuing
a beautiful princess and saving your in-laws' kingdom, what's
an ogre to do? Well, if you're Shrek, you suddenly wind up
a domesticated family man. Instead of scaring villagers away
like he used to, a reluctant Shrek now agrees to autograph
pitch forks. What's happened to this ogre's roar?
for the days when he felt like a "real ogre," Shrek
is duped into signing a pact with the smooth-talking dealmaker,
Rumpelstiltskin. Shrek suddenly finds himself in a twisted,
alternate version of Far Far Away, where ogres are hunted,
Rumpelstiltskin is king and Shrek and Fiona have never met.
Now, it's up to Shrek to undo all he's done in the hopes of
saving his friends, restoring his world and reclaiming his
one True Love.
Once upon a long long time, in a land Far Far Away lives a green ogre named Shrek who lives life happily ever after with his wife, three offspring and his two buddies, Donkey and Puss-In-Boots. Or is it?
In this fourth instalment of the multi-billion franchise, our all-too familiar green ogre is down with a midlife crisis. Unable to cope with his repetitive domesticated lifestyle that includes changing his kids’ diapers and the constant hankering of tourist buses, he misses life in the past where he lived without a care in the forest and everyone runs at the sight of him instead of requesting an autograph on their pitchforks. And since every new sequel requires a new villain, the evil Rumpelstiltskin turns up offering Shrek a so-called solution to help him return to his past just for a day. The vulnerable Shrek took up his offer and finds himself in an alternate world where Rumpelstiltskin is now the King and Far Far Away is in a dismantling state roamed by flying witches. Worse, Donkey and Puss no longer recognises him not even Fiona who has become the leader of the Resistance, a movement led to overthrown the King.
The only way to lift the curse it seems is to do things Disney style - Extract a kiss from your one and only true love. To do so, Shrek must first woo back the fierce rebel warrior aka Fiona.
With a diminishing box-office return, DreamWorks Animation gave a 3D facelift to the much touted last chapter of the franchise to lure in the fans. The 3D effects which gave more depth to the visuals will definitely mesmerized the younger kids notably the broom chase sequences and a climatic battle in the end but not necessarily impresses much of the seasoned movie-goers given we only saw the much superior DreamWorks’ own animation output, "How To Train Your Dragon" a month earlier.
As compared to the earlier instalments, "Shrek Forever After" boasts a less stellar voice cast in a way. Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz’s performances are as loveable as ever though it’s always Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas who stole the show respectively as Donkey and Puss. The latter which had turned into a big fat kitty here will ignite most of the chuckles and laughter. Credit must also go to story editor Walt Dohrn who chipped in an enthusiastic performance as the wicked Rumpelstiltskin.
Playing it safe, the series’ signature numerous pop culture references, sight gags and classic pop songs (the Carpenters anyone?) are retained by screenwriters Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke. Director Mike Mitchell (who made the great "Sky High" and the not-so-great "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo") fails to breathe new life to the flagging franchise given the much recurring jokes and predictable storyline that peppered the 93 minutes running time. On the positive side, at least there are lesser characters this time round to tussle for screentime and old favourites such as Pinocchio and gingerbread are given slightly more gags to tickle the funny bone. One of the new additions to the franchise, Craig Robinson (The Office) voices a hilarious chef who is part of the ogre resistance group.
The original 2001 "Shrek" was a refreshing, whimsical take on the fairy tale genre, making a mockery and parody of grand old Disney cartoons and fairy tale classics all in the name of good fun. As the years go, with the increase of computer animated productions (some impressive while mostly forgettable), the Shrek series has indeed reached its shelf life. As one of the ‘pioneers’ of wholesome family CG entertainment, "Shrek Forever After" unquestionably demonstrated its dying pulse despite the sweet ending to wrap up the tale.
For the last time, can we forever embed the image of Shrek and Fiona living happily ever after in our memory instead of yet another 'flogging-the-cash-cow' fifth instalment?
(What the Shrek just happened? No worries, this one is just another forgettable sequel in the flagging franchise)
Review by Linus Tee