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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
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Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Cameron Diaz
Antonio Banderas
Eddie Murphy
Mike Myers
Walt Dohrn .
Directors
Mike Mitchell.
Screenwriters
Josh Klausner.
Running Time
93 minutes

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Shrek Forever After
It’s all Ogre, folks


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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…


Review
Shrek Forever After
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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.


Reviewed by James White

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Shrek Forever After
Empire Star Rating

WAY TO SHORT

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

Empire User Rating

Posted by Darren47 at 18:09, 05 October 2013 | Report This Post


Shrek Forever After Review

While not without its moments, Shrek Forever After too often feels like a rote rehashing of the franchise's earlier entries. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 22:04, 13 December 2011 | Report This Post


Dark-tone Shrek with great depth of characters. Great but too smart and matural for kids. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ARmy2510 at 00:02, 06 January 2011 | Report This Post


The 2nd best in the series!

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

Empire User Rating

Posted by batbhai at 05:06, 29 December 2010 | Report This Post


An improvement on the last installment but still not a patch on the original ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by marcon1987 at 15:36, 27 December 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Do the roar

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

Empire User Rating

Posted by McGeesJabberwock at 16:49, 27 September 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Do the roar

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

Empire User Rating

Posted by blackduck at 16:44, 05 August 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Do the roar

Good, but forgettable, one stand out moment...DO THE ROAR! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by GAttwell at 17:08, 31 July 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Shrek Ends on a High

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

Posted by musht at 21:41, 20 July 2010 | Report This Post


Shrek Ends on a High

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

Empire User Rating

Posted by robwillphill at 12:23, 20 July 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Improved but still a film too far

Lookin forward to this. Think I'm going to watch it this weekend - it was slated in the states -regardless; big fan of the series and I even enjoyed the 3rd! ... More

Posted by The REAL Bozz at 07:13, 02 July 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Improved but still a film too far

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

Posted by BOHEMIANBOB at 22:04, 01 July 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Improved but still a film too far

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

Empire User Rating

Posted by skeletonjack at 19:11, 01 July 2010 | Report This Post


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