Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Movies


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published May 19, 2010 at 4:40 PM | Page modified May 20, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Comments (0)     E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Movie review

'Shrek Forever After' ends happily ever after ... we hope

Fourth time is a somewhat tired charm in the latest installment of the "Shrek" franchise, "Shrek Forever After," writes Seattle Times movie critic Moira Macdonald.

Seattle Times movie critic

Movie review 2.5 stars

'Shrek Forever After,' with the voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Walt Dohrn, Julie Andrews, John Cleese. Directed by Mike Mitchell, from a screenplay by Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke, based on the book by William Stieg. 93 minutes. Rated PG for mild action, some rude humor and brief language. Several theaters.

Movie review 2.5 stars

"Shrek the Third," a few years back, seemed to signal the end of a very lucrative animated franchise: Though not without some good laughs, the third movie had clearly run out of steam, recycling old gags and coasting through scenes that simply weren't funny. By its end, Shrek the ogre (voiced by Mike Myers) was perfectly content with his lot, with his true love Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and his faithful friend Donkey (Eddie Murphy) by his side. I would have bet money that the "Shrek" machine had lumbered to a permanent halt, and rightly so.

But money, it appears, is precisely what brings us "Shrek Forever After" — that, and the chance to play with animated 3D. So here we are, back in Far Far Away, with Shrek and Fiona and Donkey and no story, as there's no particular reason for us to be here. Instead, screenwriters Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke cheerfully recycle the first movie, creating a mini-midlife crisis for Shrek and zipping him back in time (with the help of a new villain, Rumpelstiltskin, voiced by Walt Dohrn) so that he can meet Fiona again and transform her, again, via love's first kiss.

All of this would be extremely irritating, and easy to dismiss as cynical manipulation of the moviegoing public — except for the fact that even recycled "Shrek" is still pretty funny, and that kids will thoroughly enjoy it. (My young guest found it great fun, particularly the 3D glasses.) Even grown-ups may have trouble resisting Antonio Banderas' suave-voiced Puss in Boots, who's having a little weight problem this time around ("That's a whole lot of kitty!" shrieks Donkey), or the Three Little Pigs' German accents, or the witches who all seem to have watched "The Wizard of Oz" more than once ("What a world! What a world!" moans one as she dissolves, in her best Wicked Witch of the West voice).

The 3D effects are subtle but nicely done, with horses galloping off the screen and broom-riding villains zooming about. But "Shrek Forever After" squeaks by (like those pigs) on the strength of its wit, and on the fact that Murphy bellowing out the song "Tomorrow" is, for reasons I can't entirely explain, always funny. The movie almost justifies its existence, if you ignore the fact that it ends up pretty much exactly where the last movie ended up (resulting in a weird sort of déjà vu in which you wonder if you've really seen a movie, or just had a popcorn-assisted hallucination). But you could have just as much fun staying home and watching the first movie again. Should a fifth movie arise, that's where I'll be.

Moira Macdonald:

206-464-2725 or mmacdonald@seattletimes.com

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

More Movies

Movie review: 'The Adjustment Bureau': Hats off to a fine fantasy

Movie review: 'Beastly': Fairy-tale misfits who look like models

Movie review: 'Rango': Johnny Depp nails his role as the lizard hero in this wild Western

Movie review: 'Take Me Home Tonight': a big '80s party you may not want to crash

Actor Mickey Rooney tells Congress about abuse

More Movies headlines...

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.

advertising


Get home delivery today!

Video

Advertising

AP Video

Entertainment | Top Video | World | Offbeat Video | Sci-Tech

Marketplace

LeBron James plugs Kia K900; Tesla Model X delay likelynew
(Kia) LeBron James teams with Kia Basketball star LeBron James has partnered with Kia to promote the K900, the brand's first rear-drive luxury sedan. ...
Post a comment

Advertising