Shrek has become a massive icon in children’s entertainment, rivaling the most classic of Disney characters. With such a massive following, sequels are bound to occur. Now, I’ll admit, I was a fan of the first, second and third Shrek films because they brought a new twist on the kid’s movie genre. While I was walking into the fourth and supposedly final Shrek, I was a bit worried. I mean, excluding series like Star Wars and Harry Potter, the fourth movie is usually the first step towards a total garbage train that can’t stop. *Cough*The Land Before Time*Cough* All aboard the garbage train!
Alright, I was exaggerating just a moment ago. I’m sorry, but let’s try and move past this fib as well as we can, ok? So, the story is all about how Shrek is ungrateful and being grumpy. He’s got the “Perfect” life, a wife that loves him, three wonderful children and more friends than Lady Gaga’s MySpace. So, what’s so horrible about his life? It’s repetitive and Shrek needs some time to himself! Hmmm…anyway, enter Rumpelstiltskin (A.K.A. “Rumple”, “Rump” or “R-Dawg”) who creates a contract with Shrek for “One Day As An Ogre”, meaning he can pillage and be scary, instead of a pseudo-celebrity in his normal life. The catch is, he has to trade one of the days from his life for this new day. So, Rumple takes the day Shrek was born! Muahahahaha!
Through a strange set of circumstances, Shrek not being born puts Rump into the seat of power. He becomes a tyrant of this alternate reality and enslaves all of the inhabitants of Far Far Away. Of course, Shrek is the only hope for righting this world and the time line! So, Shrek has to re-meet all of his friends and convince them to help him. Now, Donkey is a low level employee for Rumple, Fiona is a warrior princess who leads the revolution against Rump, Puss’n’Boots is a fat house cat, blah blah blah. To save your time and mine, Shrek’s got to save the world. Antics ensue.
I’ve always loved Shrek for being able to blend humor for adults and children pretty seamlessly, but Shrek Forever After didn’t bring it’s A-game. The humor was hit and miss, for the adults and for the younger audiences. Although, there were some moments that I literally *massive air quotes* L-O-L’d. Sadly, there were more failed jokes, than successful ones.
The voice acting in Shrek is usually quite good, and this one stands at par, with one exception. I’m not trying to insult this man, or say that he is bad at what he does, but Walt Dohrn, the voice of Rumpelstiltskin, was so ear-gratingly annoying. I’m sure that Walt could’ve done a different voice, but they stuck with the high-pitched, whining and pathetic sound. Good Lord, I really disliked being forced to hear him, because he’s such a major role. If someone is making you see this movie, be prepared to deal with the frustration of Rumpelstiltskin.
The music was a blend of bland kid’s movie music and more modern “kid-friendly” rock. There’s really not much to say about the music, except that it served to prevent silence. I mean, if the one requirement of music in film is to occupy people’s ears between dialogue, then Shrek is going to rock your ears to an inappropriate level. Otherwise, don’t expect to go rushing off to get the soundtrack.
(Skip the paragraph if you really care that much…or if you honestly believe you can’t predict how this movie is going to be.)
My biggest problem with the entire film is this: there is no point. Really. The movie all takes place in a temporary and hypothetical setting. So, the only resolution to the entire plot is to go back to normal! Meaning, what exactly? The movie ends with nothing actually changing in the real overall plot. Shrek’s life goes on as it did before, but now he’s not such a jackass. Hurray. Let’s sum up the films here:
Shrek 1: Meets Fiona and the cast
Shrek 2: Get’s married
Shrek 3: Has kids
Shrek 4: Meaningless cash-grab adventure that changes nothing
END OF SPOILERS (If you skipped all that, try your hardest not to peek up there. Just saying, it’s really something you should read.)
Overall, I can’t say that I hated Shrek Forever After. After all, it had a few funny parts, good voice acting, and pretty 3D effects that are blended well into the film. Beside my griping which you probably skipped, I’m sure that every family’s child will enjoy this flick. Just don’t expect it to be on the same level as previous Shrek movies, because this one trails behind in comparison.
I give Shrek Forever After 3 “Kids Who Look Old” out of 5