Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shrek Forever After (Mike Mitchell, 2010) Review

WHAM! It's over. The Shrek franchise is over. They mean it this time since the tagline for this one was The Final Chapter and the ending pretty much becomes a retrospective of the franchise. Unlike Ice Age 4 which opens the door for a fifth film, this is definitely the end (excluding Puss In Boots). It's time to take a look at the last of the Shrek films: Shrek Forever After.

Shrek (Mike Myers) is now having a mid-life crises. He wishes he could go back to the days where he was feared by men and was known as a terrifying ogre. After ruining his kids birthday party, he encounters Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn) who can grant people's wishes in return for something else. Shrek gives up a day in his life and is sent back to when he was a rampaging ogre. Naturally, he loves it. He realises something though...Rumpelstiltskin has taken over Far Far Away, Donkey doesn't recognise him, Fiona rules over a group of ogre freedom fighters and Puss is now pampered and fat. Shrek then learns that Rumpel has taken the day that Shrek was born from him and the only way to fix everything is to get true love's kiss. Now Shrek has to remind everyone who he is and defeat Rumpel.

After the disappointing Shrek The Third, I didn't watch this film for quite a while but when I did...I was pleasantly surprised. The plot is great and makes many references to the first film that makes for some excellent moments that fans of the first film should appreciate. It seems that even the creators have ignored the third film considering that the quality is much improved. It looks much better, the great humour is back and the new character (yeah, only one this time) is excellent. Rumpelstiltskin is one of the best villains in the Shrek franchise!

Sure, it has it's problems such as wasted potential of characters (The version of Gingy in Rumpel's world is great but in it for about three minutes) but it's justified because there is more focus on Shrek and the people around him. The last one focused on two many things and it could be hard to keep track (I didn't after mind training from not being confused with Inception (why does everyone say it's confusing...that's for another time though)) The plot is fresh and it's good to see some slow, quiet moments in a Shrek film...the last one was in it for laughs...not this time.

Was I the only one surprised that, not only is this a great film, but Dreamworks made three films in one year! It was a shame that Pixar only released one........which just so happened to be Toy Story 3. It kicked ass, I assure you. If only they released their films the next year so it could demolish Cars 2...then again they did anyway with Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss In Boots. Dreamworks, you've done good. Shrek is done and it ended on a very high note. Congratulations!

An excellent send off to a great franchise. Bonus points for being such as pleasant surprise!

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