18 January 2011 | TheLittleSongbird
Decent: not as good as the first two, but better than the third film
The first Shrek was funny and original, and one of my favourites of its year. The first sequel was just as delightful and as charming, and while the third film wasn't as bad as I thought it would be it did suffer from being too tired and contrived. Shrek Forever After is an improvement on Shrek the Third while lacking the charm, heart and magic that was there clearly in the first two.
Thankfully, the story is not as contrived as it was in the third film. I loved the idea and it did start off well, the "what would life be like if Shrek had never existed?" reminded me of one of my all-time favourites, It's a Wonderful Life. However, in the middle act it did have its predictable parts. The pace sags a bit too in the middle act particularly when there are parts that don't have as much humour as I would have liked. Also, while the animation was very good on the whole, I did feel that Rumplestiltskin's facial expressions were occasionally overdone and forced.
Criticisms aside, the animation is very good, very colourful and lively with some nice backgrounds. The soundtrack is also great, while the jokes are fresher and wittier than the last one, Donkey getting the best of them. The characters are still likable, the pace is in general snappy and the writing is amusing. The voice acting is also top notch, not only from Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz who are rock-solid but especially from Eddie Murphy who seamlessly comes very close to stealing the film while Antonio Banderas makes a welcome return as Puss.
Overall, not a classic but an improvement and an entertaining film. 7/10 Bethany Cox