The second Shrek was okay. Not as good as the first, but not bad.
The third Shrek, I never did see. And apparently, I didn’t miss much.
The fourth (and allegedly final) Shrek is – like the second one- just okay.
So it’s definitely time to say good-bye to our favorite ogre (Mike Myers), his wife Fiona (Cameron Diaz), Donkey (Eddie Murphy), Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) et al. Their story – once so refreshing and unique- is now quite stale. Even my 10-year-old companion looked bored. That said, I suspect that the box office will ultimately dictate the future of the franchise, ’cause let’s face it, money talks. A spin-off perhaps?
The best thing Shrek Forever After has going for it is that there’s nothing else (or better) out there at the moment for young moviegoers. So if it’s an extremely hot or rainy day and you need a 90-minute escape plan for the whole family, then go for it. Just keep your expectations in check. And stick to the 2-D version. I can’t imagine that this particular movie would be any better in 3-D, just more expensive (and thus, perhaps, even more disappointing).
The basic premise for Shrek Forever After is a familiar one – in a Christmas Carol meets It’s a Wonderful Life sort of way. Our “hero” Shrek is living the dream: he’s got an ogre of a wife who adores him, three little ogres, his best friend Donkey, and throngs of admirers in his home kingdom of Far, Far Away. Trouble is, all that bliss kinda goes against an ogre’s nature, and Shrek starts feeling nostalgic for his glory days as a more intimidating creature of the swamp… a time when his mighty roar triggered fear rather than laughter and applause.
In a moment of weakness (i.e. mid-life crisis), Shrek makes a deal with the devil – in this case, an evil little guy named Rumpelstiltskin. Shrek agrees to trade a day from his distant past in exchange for a day of traditional ogre fun. Rumpelstiltskin then robs poor Shrek of his “birth day”, which changes the course of all the lives that Shrek has touched over the years. It’s very “George Bailey”-esque.
And like George Bailey, Shrek ultimately gets his life back, and learns some valuable lessons along the way. The End. Or so we’re told.