Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

May 21, 2010

Fairy tale ending

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 1:25 am

May 21, 2010

Cast: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz

Director: Mike Mitchell

All good things must come to an end, and movie franchises are no exception. In Shrek Forever After, the fourth and allegedly final chapter in the series, the sense of mischief and fun that went missing in the third film has thankfully been re-injected.

Still married to Fiona and a year into becoming a father to triplets, our lovable green ogre Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) appears to be worn down by the grind of domesticity, frustrated by the monotony of his routine existence. When he’s repeatedly badgered at his kids’ birthday party to “do the roar” that made him famous, Shrek loses it.

He realizes he misses his bachelor days and simple pleasures like terrorizing villagers and wallowing in the mud lazily. No wonder he enters into a pact with the evil Rumpelstiltskin to revisit his old life for one day. That pact turns out to be a trick, sending Shrek into a bizarre, alternate universe where his loyal friend Donkey doesn’t know him, Puss in Boots has grown fat and lazy, and Fiona is a warrior princess leading a rebellion against Rumpelstiltskin, the despotic ruler of the land. To make things right again, Shrek must befriend Donkey and woo Fiona, but good luck with that in a land where Rumpelstiltskin’s witches are hunting ogres in the woods.

Recovering pretty quickly from the dullness that threatened to seep into the franchise with that misstep that was Shrek The Third, this fourth film focuses more on characters than story to pull you in. Although the plot retreads much of the same formula as the first Shrek movie, its premise – of the characters having to rediscover each other – allows us to see the bunch as we have known them and loved them over the years.

Motormouth Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy), and suave swashbuckling Puss (voiced by Antonio Banderas) get the best lines in this film, while Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz) makes a convincing action heroine. Cruel con-man Rumpelstiltskin (voiced by Walt Dohrn) is a complete hoot, and many laughs are to be had from his wacky wig changes.

The humor in Shrek Forever After isn’t as fresh as in the first two films, but there’s enough pleasure to be had from the hilarious interactions between the characters, and the 3D effects which includes a dragon leaping out at you among other things.

I’m going with 3 out of 5 for Shrek Forever After. It’s an exciting ride and you will enjoy it. But it does feel like it’s the right time for Shrek to say goodbye.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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