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Shrek: Forever After Review [May. 23rd, 2010|11:18 pm]
Movie Reviews: Write them or Read them


Fairy tales are such strange things. They are really tales about real life codified in such a way as to prepare kids for the life ahead. So it's interesting that so many of the earliest forms of these "fairy tales" stories are rarely happy: Little Red Riding Hood gets eaten, The Little Mermaid loses her voice and her home in the sea, Sleeping Beauty gets impregnated in her sleep. The list goes on and on. Is the "happily ever after" ending is just a sweet icing on a bad tasting cake?

Certainly, no movie series tries to twist the "happily ever after" ending more than Shrek. They try to do it once again in Shrek: Forever After. They even use the "happily ever after" motif throughout the movie and even reference it in the title.

In this fourth edition to the Shrek series the title character is deep into Daddy hood with three kids, many friends, and even tourists taking up all his time. He's stressing and longs for his carefree Ogre days, doing Ogrey things like scaring villagers and taking mud baths. When Rumplestiltskin offers Shrek the chance for a single day of his old life back he agrees, but he finds the deal wipes him out of existence and everyone he knew is suddenly very different. Fiona leads a resistance fighter group, Puss in Boots has grown to large for his boots and Donkey is . . . well, pretty much still Donkey. Time is running out for Shrek and he has to set things right or fade out of reality.

Vocally, the Shrek character played by Mike Myers sounds annoyed for much of the picture. That's who the character is but there's so much of it that it starts to be a bummer. In fact most of the cast seems subdued. The only exception is Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots who seems to be freed by the characters shift to a different direction and seems very lively.

There's a lot of stunt voice casting of the characters, but unless you pay attention to the credits it's almost impossible to tell Kathy Griffen from Jane Lynch. One's an Ogress and one's a witch. Take a guess which is which. But the coolest guest voice is Billie Hayes. Which only means something if you remember H.R. Pufnstuf's Witchiepoo.

The animation style is pretty much locked in like the previous Shrek films and Shrek: Forever After breaks no new ground. It's well done, but CGI wise nothing special, except it's in 3-D. (I'm not sure how other people perceive 3-D, but for me it's really great for about five minutes than you get used to it and it might as well be normal.)

Shrek: Forever After is a sort of fun movie. The Puss in Boots stuff makes it worth checking out and there are some funny bits here and there, but you have to wonder at the end of it whether Shrek is really living a "happily ever after" or if that's just a sweet covering of a bland situation.