Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Shrek 4 Forever After DVD Film Review

As this is the final chapter of Shrek and the last one in the Shrek series, I have high hopes that this series will end with a BANG and that it will be the best one yet. Unfortunately, it fails to hit the mark and could ultimately be the worst one in the series.

To those who have no idea what this movie is about, the cover features the Shrek characters in weird Celtic outfits and a small strange orange haired man peeping through (Rumpelstiltskin). All our favourite characters return for this finale which is nice.

Shrek and Fiona are living happily in the swamp with their three children. Upon seeing a wishing star, Fiona wishes that everyday could be the same. The repetitiveness gets to Shrek, and freaking out on his children's first birthday, makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin. In exchange for one day feeling like a real ogre again, he gives Rumpelstiltskin a day he will not remember when he was a baby.

Immediately transported into this parallel world, Shrek soon discovers that he has been tricked. By exchanging the day he was born, he never rescues Fiona and his children do not exist. On his journey in trying to find Fiona he discovers she is the leader of an Ogre revolution, Rumpelstiltskin rules Far Far Away, Donkey doesn't know him and Puss is fat. How will Shrek break his deal with Rumpelstiltskin and get his life back?

The plot of this movie is obviously forced and it makes me uncomfortable watching it, knowing that the franchise is ending on this particular plot line. It was also the most predictable plot line of the four films which brings it down slightly. However, there were some key moments that I enjoyed and found hilarious. 

The character development of Gingy has heightened in this movie. For some reason, they placed a lot of focus on this character, and I am so glad they did, because this was the highlight for me. Gingy's menagerie of cookie animals stole the show and I laughed at his gladiatorial antics and his combat skills.

Unfortunately, the same could not be said of Shrek and Donkey, who are both equally annoying. I have never liked them in any of the movies and find them just there for the other side characters to shine. This plot allowed Fiona to develop as a warrior princess and showed another side of her which is nice- I liked the scene of her super cool fighting skills blindfolded.

Rumpelstiltskin is the villain of this movie. He is slightly different to the other villains in that he isn't just manipulative, he has firepower as well. His army of witches allowed this film to build up into a sort of 'Lord of the Rings' battle scene, which could've been more enhanced and dramatic- it never gets to that. There were also very obvious 'Harry Potter' broom sequences around the Palace which I imagine would be good in 3D, as well as the skull head contraptions.

A side villain is 'The Pied Piper' which provided some laughs and I'm glad they brought in new characters, it was much needed to explore the diverse world of fairy stories.

As with the other films there is a key message of love, friendship and fighting for freedom which is great in movies like this, though at times the jokes were far too complicated for children to understand and there are many moments where there are adult undertones.

Ending wise, it annoys me yet some more that the whole resolution makes the events of the film pointless as it is one of those "they woke up and it was a dream" type endings. Nonetheless it was a happy resolution for the Shrek clan, nothing really changing since the last movie.

Mike Myers- Shrek
Cameron Diaz- Fiona
Eddie Murphy- Donkey
Antonio Banderas- Puss in Boots

Voices also provided by Jane Lynch, Julie Andrews, Kathy Griffin, John Cleese and Jon Hamm.

I watched the deleted scenes (the best extra features)- I loved the Gingy gladiator test sequence and wished it had been included for the final edit because I found myself laughing at that perhaps more than bits in the movie. The other scene with the characters beating Shrek up was also good as it combines all the elements special to those characters and brings them all together in a dark way.
There is also commentary on the DVD.

There are moments to be enjoyed in this movie but a defining close to the series it isn't. In a way, it almost leaves a gap as it doesn't progress the plot line in anyway. It feels more like a standalone adventure or an episode, which is a shame. I had wished that this series closed with a BANG, but it truly didn't. 

That said, the star of this movie which provided many laughs was Gingy- the most developed character throughout the franchise- he is different in every movie- which leads me to question why the makers/producers behind Shrek would continue the franchise with a new 'Puss in Boots' movie opposed to 'Gingy'. I love Gingy soo much more, and I'm sure many others would prefer to see Gingy short films or 'Adventures of Gingy' opposed to a silly 'Puss in Boots' movie where his lack of diversity has been exhausted with these Shrek films.

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