Shrek Forever After is by far the least interesting of the Shrek franchise (but then again, it hasn’t been lively since Shrek the Third hit theatres…). Whereas the previous installments aimed to appeal to both fart-friendly kiddies and innuendo-loving parentals, this movie seems to aimed strictly at the wee ones (at least in terms of humour). And it doesn’t even really hit the mark with that market.
The flick, which can been seen in 2-D or 3-D (Note: I went the duo-dimensional route), follows everyone’s favourite green guy (Mike Myers) as he struggles to accept the menial routine that is parenthood, while coping with his overwhelming celebrity status. His three little ogre babies are just about to turn one, and he’s just about ready to pull his armpit hair out. With many a diaper to change, mouth to feed, and fan to ward off, Shrek barely has any time for you know, good old ogre stuff (mud baths, washroom time, terrorizing villagers…).
Desperate to win back some me time, he turns to Rumpelstiltskin (voiced by a thoroughly annoying dude named Walt Dohrn) and his magical clauses. Little does he know, Rumpy has his own special wish he’s looking to see come true too. In order to get a chance to be a regular ogre for a day, Shrek has to give up a day from his past. You’ll never guess which day the old munchkin takes…
The rest of the film has Shrek struggling to regain his relationships with Fiona (Cameron Diaz), Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss (Antonio Banderas). He meets a few new faces along the way including a gang of renegade ogres played by TV hot shots Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Jane Lynch (Glee) and Craig Robinson (The Office), who are the comedic highlight of this fairly unfunny fairytale (Robinson’s running chimichanga joke is the best of the lot). But even their lines are nowhere near as legendary as some of the gems from the original and it’s almost superior sequel.
The one thing director Mike Mitchell (Sky High, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo) gets right is the animation. The characters still look fresh yet fanciful, bringing the limp plot to half-life. The new additions are quite clever, particularly Jon Hamm’s character, Brogan . He has his stark chin and everything.
Like a story-bought gingerbread house, this Shrek crumbles far too quickly without quick-witted support and quirky, storybook characters. The final act drags on too long and the lame story will have the younger crowd running far, far away – from their booster seats. D
Starring Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas and Walt Dohrn. Directed by Mike Mitchell. 93 minutes