Sean K. Cureton

A Story Book Ending

In Movie Reviews: 2010 on June 1, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Shrek Forever After

Directed by Mike Mitchell

3 out of 4 stars

With all of the kid friendly movie franchises that have been created in the past 10 years, none of them have come close to being quite as original, heartfelt, and genuinely funny as the Shrek series. Starting in 2001 with the original simply titled Shrek, this series has run miles around any other animated feature that has been created for the younger audiences of moviegoers. With a cast of characters that has been consistently entertaining and genuinely likable, this series has been able to produce three movies that have not failed to impress its fans. While Shrek the Third, which came out in 2007, was certainly not anywhere near as good as its two predecessors in the series, even this film was better than most of the drivel that has passed as family entertainment in the movie industry recently. All in all, the Shrek series has been a welcome addition to the oeuvre of the family-friendly film catalog.

The fourth, and supposedly final, installment in this series, entitled Shrek Forever After, lives up to the spirit of the original film and proves to be much better than the aforementioned third installment from 2007. Where the third film went wrong in recycling the villain from the second film, the new film brings in an entirely new cast of characters with a villain who is on par with Lord Farquad from the first installment. Rumpelstilitskin, the villain in this installment, is consistently entertaining, funny, and original. The freshness of the plot in this film, which resolves around a deal made by Shrek for one day in his old life, which results in his having to woo Fiona all over again in a universe where Shrek was never born, is absolutely delightful.

The other major plus to this sequel in the series is how true the film is to the spirit of the first film and how well it maintains the individual spirits of the characters introduced in previous films. Donkey is his usual hyperactive self, and is just as funny as usual. Puss in Boots, who made his first appearance in the series in the 2004 release Shrek 2, makes a great appearance as a much fatter version of himself. And all of the other characters also reprise their roles of the previous films to much comedic success. In particular, the characters of the Three Little Pigs are especially funny in this installment.

In conclusion, Shrek Forever After may very well be the best of the sequels in a family-friendly series that has never failed to please. While maintaining the spirit of its predecessors, this film also offers a fresh environment and story that is a welcome and entertaining change from the last sequel. Even if you didn’t particularly enjoy the previous sequels to the original from 2001, this film really delivers, and is a fitting end to a fantastic series.

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