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Shrek Forever After: The Final Chapter

Shrek Forever After

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

THE Shrek franchise thankfully gets back on track with this fourth (and apparently final) outing, which more than compensates for the crushing disappointment of Shrek The Third.

Featuring a parallel universe and a return to the smart humour and clever visual gags that marked the first two films in the series, Shrek Forever After is a crowd-pleasing final bow that should easily appeal to adults and children alike.

The film picks up as Shrek (once again voiced by Mike Myers) struggles to adapt to the day-to-day monotony of life as a father, husband and celebrity ogre. After one particularly taxing party, he foolishly signs a dubious agreement with the untrustworthy Rumpelstiltskin to be ‘a real ogre for a day’, but neglects to read the small print and finds himself thrust into a parallel universe from which there might not be an escape.

Hence, Shrek suddenly finds himself in a world where Rumpelstiltskin is king, Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) is a rebel leader, Donkey (Eddie Murphy) is a slave to the witches, and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) is hopelessly out of shape and a danger to himself.

Much of the fun in watching Mike Mitchell’s adventure unfold lies in the new spin afforded to the previously familiar characters. Indeed, it’s almost like going back to the beginning at times, as Shrek has to work hard to befriend Donkey and Puss, while wooing Fiona.

But Shrek Forever After is also more than just a retread, as the central characters each learn important lessons about themselves in the process.

Admittedly, some of the more confusing elements of the plot may fly over the heads of the youngest viewers, but there’s still plenty to keep them amused by way of the rich 3D visuals and the well choreographed set pieces.

Shrek’s frequent battles with the witches are a rollercoaster ride of invention, while his camaraderie with Puss (on scene-stealing form once again) and Donkey is as zesty as ever. There are, unlike Shrek 3, several laugh out loud moments.

The overall result, therefore, is a welcome return to form for the franchise, which looks set to finish the saga off with a deserved box office flourish.

Certificate: U
Running time: 93mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: December 6, 2010