Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shrek Forever After - Movie Review

Starring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Walt Dohrn, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Jon Hamm, Jane Lynch and Craig Robinson.

I thought the first two Shreks were fine, had some laughs, a little too reliant on pop-culture references and inappropriate sexual innuendo. I hated the third one. The fourth one remembers it's a kids movie, throws in pop-culture references and songs ranging from Beastie Boys to the Carpenters, and has an actual plot, even if it's borrowed from It's A Wonderful Life.

Domestic bliss is getting on Shrek's nerves. One too many diaper changes, no townspeople scared of the ogre anymore... Shrek's in a rut. When Rumpelstiltskin comes along to offer him a day where he's still a feared ogre, Shrek takes it. But the fine print of Rumpelstiltskin's deal, he gets a day back from Shrek, and he takes the day Shrek was born. Thus Fiona was never rescued, and Fiona's parents have been tricked into signing over Far Far Away to Rumpelstiltskin.

Kudos for DreamWorks letting storyboarder Walt Dohrn voice Rumpel. He was the stand-in til they could find a more famous voice, but they liked his work and let him keep the job, and he does a good job. Rumpel's the best villain of the series since John Lithgow's diminuitive prince from the first one.

Is it funny? At times. I'm used to Eddie Murphy getting chuckles out of Donkey, but he doesn't get a lot of good lines. Antonio Banderas is still a hoot as Puss in Boots. Shrek and Fiona are fine. They're there.

It fades quickly from memory, so I would say it's a worthy rental for the kids. I'm glad our tickets were free. And do I hope they change their minds and make Shrek 5? No.

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