Shrek Forever After: Hopefully Forever Done

Once upon a time…in a land far, far away, a children’s movie was meant for only children. And in this place, people like Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and Mike Meyers were considered popular and relevant. This place was called the 90s. Then one day a movie came out called Toy Story. Suddenly, a children’s movie was intended for all ages! Other movies followed suit and in 2001 Shrek premiered and was loved by many. The End.

Not.

Ten years later, Shrek is still going at it. However, the storyline isn’t anything new and the little quirks in Shrek Forever After make the movie exactly what you expected…another Shrek movie.

Shrek Forever After is the final journey for the smelly, green giant. Unsatisfied with his domesticated life, Shrek signs a contract with Rumpelstiltskin to escape his mundane routine for one day. Forget the Ferrari and Rogaine. An ogre equivalent of a mid-life crisis includes magic, mud baths, and an army of disco witches. Of course, things backfire and soon Shrek is part of an alternate universe in which he never existed. The rest of the movie follows Shrek in a race against time to secure true love’s kiss from Fiona in order to reverse Rumpelstiltskin’s contract.

Yes, the plot is lacking. Yes, there are not as many witty references as there once were in a Shrek movie. When Shrek first arrived on the scene, the script was fresh and the jokes new. The way the fairytale world was tarnished by the borderline crude jokes was original. Now the charming world doesn’t illicit the laughs it once did because audiences have already seen it…three times. But is it really fair to ask for more than a semi-interesting story line and a few solid jokes from a sequel…let alone a 4th sequel? I suppose when that sequel’s budget exceeds $100 million the answer is “yes’ on principle alone. But we are not dealing solely with principles here; we are dealing with reality. In reality, no one expects Shrek Forever After to be a cinematic masterpiece.

While the movie doesn’t have the sense of magic it once had, it does have some genuinely funny moments. Gingy (the gingerbread man) becomes a gladiator who battles animal crackers. Shrek attempts to adjust to a celebrity lifestyle and loses it when his fans ask him to autograph their pitch forks. And you may call me tawdry… but there is just something about a morbidly obese cat, wearing boots, that makes me laugh.

Regardless, it is definitely time to say goodbye to this series. So, bid adieu to Shrek. It’s time for him to go back to the swamp he crawled out of and rest in peace. Shrek will not be forgotten though, as he helped build the bridge that connects children’s film with adult entertainment – a once revolutionary concept that has now become the norm.

Speaking of the norm, I would just like to address the fact that I had to purchase a more expensive movie ticket because of the 3D craze. Now, I know spending an extra $3.00 on a film isn’t the end of the world. I also know that I have already used up my “standing on principles” bit about three paragraphs ago. So I won’t get too preachy here, but I don’t think it’s right when the only choices for movie viewing are either:

A. 3D and pay an extra $3.00
or
B. IMAX and pay an extra $7.00

I’m not an avid fan of 3D. It doesn’t do anything for me (besides empty my wallet faster). The wave of 3D movies is not close to being over as Shrek Forever After just ushered in the new season of animated movies. Among the new releases are Despicable Me and Toy Story 3, both of which will be offered in 3D… both of which have the potential to clever and fun… and both of which will irritate me when I have to pay extra.