11 June 2010 | vip_ebriega
As happily ever after's go, this one ain't half bad.
The final chapter in the SHREK series recalls that familiar term "Be careful what you with for". I too was careful at what I wished SHREK FOREVER AFTER would be. After the disappointing SHREK THE THIRD, the bar isn't set high for this supposedly final chapter. It's never going to compare with the superior first two, but if Dreamworks Animation really wanted to conclude their beloved property with this, they might as well give it all that it has. SHREK FOREVER AFTER, while certainly more elaborate than its immediate predecessor, is not the most original of the series, but if this is really a happily ever after for Shrek, at least he went out on a good note rather than a disappointing one.
The story is basically IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE with Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) trading places with George Bailey. Shrek's life couldn't be better: he has his loving wife Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz) and three kids, best buddies Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss (Antonio Banderas) are current visitors, he's got his swamp back, and above all his days as the flesh-eating ogre are way behind him. But everyday of the same day-to-day rituals can get too routine for our big green ogre. If only he could wish he could be that flesh-eating ogre again! His wish is granted when he meets the crafty Rumpelstiltskin (voiced by Walt Dohrn), but it at a terrible catch. Before you can say "Happily Ever After no more!", Shrek is trapped in a depressing alternate universe where he was never born and none of his pals know who he is.
The real treat of the premise of FOREVER AFTER is that it gives us a chance to warm up with these characters again and recall why we loved them in the first place, and then find out a few new reasons to like them all over again. We already know these characters and we have met them before, and this might just serve as a reunion after the occasional slog of the previous follow-up. Unlike its immediate predecessor as well, this one actual has a storyline instead of the simple premise to be used to hang pop culture reference and in-jokes. It's not a great storyline and certainly not anything original, but it's a step on the right direction. Director Mike Mitchell has at least put Shrek right back on track, and not a moment too soon. If this is really the series' finale, the creators have at least done a credible job at reminding us of the appeal that these characters. In a way, SHREK FOREVER AFTER is a satisfying conclusion, if not a grand one.
Rating: ***1/2 out of 5.