The trouble with sequels is-what else can you do with the characters that hasn’t already been done? Part of the fun in watching movies is witnessing the changes and growth in the characters-it’s usually a path to discovery. But how do you keep characters developing in sequel after sequel? “Shrek Forever After” (or is it called “The Final Chapter-a last minute title thrown on? DreamWorks is confusing me) solves this dilemma by removing the past, with an “It’s A Wonderful Life” twist, courtesy of new baddie Rumpelstiltskin.
Everything that happened in Shrek 1, 2 and 3 are wiped away-it’s a clean sweep of Shrek’s life, where he can now be a single grumpy Ogre again, without the burdens of being a husband and a father-not a bad idea for a sequel, but it’s also not very original.
Shrek 4 misses out on the magic that made the first film a real joy to view. Gone are the wickedly satirical send-ups of the world of fairy tales, and also the cute winks to pop culture. In their place is a run-of-the-mill animated action-adventure plot with a few chuckles thrown in. It’s seems like the writers and creators took the easy way out.
If it weren’t for the great characters of Shrek and his supporting cast, who are still voiced by the original stars-Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy. Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas-the film would be a real bust. Unless your kids are dying to see it, I’d wait for the DVD.
I give “Shrek Forever After”, directed by Mike Mitchell, a grade of “B-“. I’m Keith Kelly.
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