Shrek Forever After Review
Shrek Forever After is a 2010 animated fantasy comedy film from DreamWorks Animation. It is the fourth and final installment in the Shrek franchise.
Shrek is a family man, loved and respected by all. Reminiscing of the days when he was feared, he makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin and changes all history. To get everything back, he has to kiss Fiona before sunrise or he will disappear. This plot is very derivative and clearly unnecessary. It is evident that the filmmakers have long run out of ideas when this franchise is concerned. It has its memorable parts and is engaging and even pleasant to watch, but it is still so clichéd and repetitive and never showing us anything new or exciting.
Shrek is good here and even better than before due to his more consistent humor and a great emphasis on his character, personality and motivations. Fiona is also pretty good and although a big departure in the alternate reality, she was still solid and their relationship, although typical, is once again sweet. Donkey is so great as always. I adore his character and I was happy that he was so good even here and once again a comedic highlight. The alternate reality storyline did provide a unique chance for Shrek and Donkey to meet again and thus provides the character with many hilarious lines. Puss in Boots is also pretty funny and although underused, he still got his moments.
As for the new character Rumpelstiltskin, he is a natural fit for this series and has a couple of funny scenes, but is overall too on-the-nose with forced humor and expected personality and style. As for the supporting characters, I liked how this entry isn’t stuffed with so many characters as its predecessor was, but was still somewhat empty at times. Gingerbread Man annoyed me once again and the witches are interesting inclusions, but forgettable ones with Pied Piper being underused as well. But Pinocchio is so incredibly funny in this movie and is certainly one of the funniest characters there is.
The acting is expectedly very good. Mike Myers is great as is Cameron Diaz, but Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas are again the standouts. And Walt Dohrn is pretty good in the new role of Rumpelstiltskin. All of the actors did a good job.
The animation is an improvement upon the first three. The animation of course improved with each and every film in this franchise and although it still remains typical and doesn’t distinguish itself in any new ways, it is still more polished and contains some nice landscapes. And the facial expressions are once again the highlights when animation and humor is concerned.
Speaking of humor, it is one of the highlights of the movie. Yes, it is the same as before and is forced from time to time, but it also has many hilarious parts and the characters of Donkey, Puss in Boots and Pinocchio in particular are hilarious. Donkey is expectedly superior, but Puss got an interesting and fun new direction and Pinocchio is a great instance of a character that appears only in a handful of scenes, but steals the show every time he is on screen. The humor is definitely an improvement upon the previous entry and is one of the biggest reasons to see this flick.
The imagery is solid, but at times lacking and forgettable. The direction is weak, but the voice acting is great. The dialogue is at times solid, but is mostly incredibly cheesy and mediocre. And the character development, although good, is still forced as the film is filled with repetitive plot points. Shrek Forever After is also extremely predictable and clichéd, but it has its fun and mature humor and it is quite solidly paced. And the movie is incredibly unoriginal and always repetitive and stealing from its previous entries. The emotion is also mostly forced, but is still a bit heartwarming at times. The tone is surprisingly well handled as it is not as action-oriented and jarring as before.
One of the biggest and unexpected surprises regarding this fourth entry definitely has to be the score as it is so refreshingly pleasant and devoid of stupid modern pop songs. There is some of it from time to time, but it is mostly devoid of that and it instead focuses on some warm score which is much more memorable than the score in the first three movies which was always so forgettable and annoying.
Shrek Forever After is not a bad movie, but it is far from a good movie either. It is an okay flick and a harmless diversion. It is also quite a solid end to the franchise which was very uneven in the first place. Comparing it to the previous entries, it is immensely better than Shrek the Third, but both Shrek and Shrek 2 are of course better and those two remain the best parts of the series.