SHREK FOREVER AFTER - A Fitting Finale
SHREK FOREVER AFTER (animated comedy sequel, also in 3D)
Cast: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Justin Timberlake, Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolph and Amy Sedaris
Director: Mike Mitchell
Screenplay: Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke
Time: 90 mins
Rating: * * * (out of 4)
PREAMBLE: After almost a decade and four instalments of green ogre humour that is Shrek, it is time to wave goodbye to the franchise and move on. Shrek Forever After is planned as the final sequel and closes the series in 3D glory.
Well, it is about time too, since Shrek is suffering from midlife crisis both in its storyline and at the box-office.
THE SKINNY: At the opening, we find Shrek (voice of Mike Myers) in boring marital bliss, with his three adorable ogre kids. Shrek longs for the old days and after a nervous breakdown at a birthday party, he finds himself making a pact with the devil, or in this case, the vengeful Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn), who blames everyone for his miserable life.
Planning to make himself ruler of the land, he offers Shrek a day to re-live his life and the naïve ogre accepts. Stilskin chooses the day Shrek was born thrusting him back into a place that has no idea he ever existed. There he meets up with friends who claim they never knew him including Donkey (Eddie Murphy), now basically a chauffeur for the witches who serve Stiltskin's every need; and Puss ‘N Boots (Antonio Banderas), the once proud cat who has clearly let himself go.
Shrek soon discovers that he will soon cease to exist entirely unless he can score a magical kiss with Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), who is now a freedom fighter for the Ogres and leading the resistance to Stiltskin.
HITS & MISSES: As usual, the best parts of the Shrek franchise are the sight gags, the clever little asides rooted in fairy-tale revisionism and the terrific vocal performances by Murphy and Banderas. We get all these here, thanks to scripters Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke, and a 'sequel-prequel' plot that is impressively enhanced by 3D.
For me, it is always nice to see the popular Shrek characters back in action, particularly Banderas' Puss who (like all house pets we know) has been spoilt by the good life. Banderas is reportedly getting a Puss N Boots spin-off next year, so Shrek fans need not pine too much.
THE LOWDOWN: A really happy-after send-off for a hugely popular franchise.