Plot Despite his seemingly content life, Shrek (Myers) finds himself in a rut, pining for the days when locals cowered in fear. When shady magical wheeler-dealer Rumpelstiltskin (Dohrn) offers him the chance of one day of pure, scare-full ogre fun, Shrek agrees — without realising he’s signed his whole existence away. He’s plunged into an alternative Far Far Away where Rumpel is king, Fiona (Diaz) is a hunted leader of rebel ogres, and no-one knows who Shrek is…
After the overstuffed, underwritten Shrek The Third highlighted everything that was wrong about DreamWorks’ answer to Mickey Mouse, it’s a relief to discover that the fourth film shucks the usual franchise fatigue and takes the story back to basics. In spinning an It’s A Wonderful Life-esque yarn that sees Shrek (Mike Myers) plunged into an alternative universe where he never existed, Forever After has found a way to return to what made the first two films sing. Shrek and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) get plenty to do, and the script allows them to fall in love all over again for a satisfying emotional kick. But while Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) and Donkey (Eddie Murphy) enjoy a little less screen time than in recent outings, their storylines are more than just sideshow gag-fests. Here, they’re given character arcs alongside their scene-stealing schtick. We get to meet the chatterbox ass suffering under the yoke of Rumpelstiltskin’s rule (literally — he’s pulling a cart when we meet him) and flash back to the early buddy comedy where our hero hasn’t yet learned to (mostly) put up with the loudmouth loon. Similarly, the Puss of this world has long since thrown off his boots for a life of tubby luxury as Fiona’s spoiled pet.
All this works because director Mike Mitchell and his team focus on characters over strings of sight gags and dial back on stunt casting (no Justin Timberlake), choosing to just find talented actors like John Hamm and Apatow regular Craig Robinson to provide voices. Kudos also to Walt Dohrn, a storyboard artist and writer at the studio, who did such a sterling job on Rumpelstiltskin’s test vocals that he was picked to play the final role — he’s a charisma dynamo, turning the weaselly little guy into a sneaky delight. Though the main plot falls back on Shrek’s confronting of some personal fear (the worry that he’s not cut out to be a family man), it does so in a way that allows everything to feel fresher, and without relying on the tired string of fairy-tale parody that was the last movie’s downfall. There are still some clever moments (one of Rumpel’s army of witches is dispatched with a goblet of water, and goes out in true Wizard Of Oz style), but it’s in service to the story, not slapped on like Polyfilla in the hope of covering over plot-holes. Similarly, the 3D isn’t treated as a cure-all spectacle — the effect is largely limited to a healthy feeling of depth and scope, with just one or two quick gimmicky moments of flying objects. If, as the marketing trumpets, this is the final chapter, it’s nice to see Shrek going out on a high.
Verdict DreamWorks could be entering a period of fresh creativity. With How To Train Your Dragon and a balanced, darker-hued and very funny Shrek finale, they’ve found the magic again.
Clearly realising that the third instalment was a serious mirth-free misstep, the fourth and final Shrek movie ups the ante by pushing reset. So while Shrek has everything he ever wanted (wife, kids, etc), it’s still not enough and he enters into a misguided alliance with Rumpelstiltskin, ending up in a very different, parallel universe. There’s an energy to this one that suggests delight at not having to follow the tropes set up by the last few Shrek movies and it cuts loose with so... More
I like films with length, and I've seen Chihuahuas that longer. What pisses me off Is that EVERYONE is saying "it's better than Shrek the Third." as one of the people that didn't mind Shrek the Third, I think this is the worst Shrek. It isnt that rips off it's a wonderful life, it just go's extremely way too short shorter than any animation you've ever seen it's like, when you go when the trailers on, when you come back however. There already halfway in the Film! It's like they've rush... More
Despite not being original, The Shrek-Donkey relationship is outstanding! Even my friend didn't see the previous ones and loved this one. I wish I could scratch the belly of Puss in the Boots! ... More
This summer, both Pixar and Dreamworks’ biggest animated franchises unleash their latest instalments onto the big screen. Sequels to animated movies aren’t usually that special, look to Disney’s direct-to-DVD monstrosities for a good example of how cartoon continuations can fail, but ry 3en greatly anticipated, continuing a story many people wanted to see continued. However, less probably wanted Shrek’s story to continue much longer, as the stale third film proved that the franchise had run out... More
Overall it was a good movie , bit short as if they relly didn't have enough material to do anything else with it. If you're watching in 3D there is a beautiful shot at the beginning where the camera goes into the carriage, but the rest of the movie would work just as well in 2D. Hopefully this will be the last one, like most people have said it's better than the third one, but thats not saying much. ... More
A massive improvement on the third, fairly decent but they dragged the whole shrek thing waaaaaaay too far and it's basically the same plot to every film; Shrek's agrumpy fuck and then realises he's nothing to be grumpy about. I'm thinking a r-rated remake would be the bees knees ... More
After the dissapointment that was he Thirdfourth and final installment ends the quadrology off nicely. It isn't Shrek 1 & 2, but it packs in enough entertainment, laughs, action, and beautiful fairytale scenery to make this a solidly good animation. Although the storyline is essentially alternative universe, the introduction of new, entertaining characters and (dare i say it) fun and fantastical 3D; orever Afteres...
] ... More
Seen it today in 2D,fantastic 2D!!!
kids loved it,it is a bit of the "going back to the roots" approach,and it is the 2nd best movie in the franchise.
Two criticisms:Donkey,Puss and Rumpel underused,and the film itself is too short.
Solid 3 stars. ... More
Easily the second best of the Shrek movies, this is a fun sequel that for the most part stays clear of pitfalls that dogged the previous films.
Certain aspects still grate, the Pied Piper playing hip hop to the witches being a prime example, but there's enough going on here to forgive the odd moment here and there.
The biggest shame is that they couldn't write in a return for John Lithgow in this alternate reality.
Hopefully this will be the last installment, as they've gone out on a h... More