The Shrek series finally draws to a close with the latest and last installation Shrek Forever After: The Final Chapter. Like with the past 3 movies, the storyline of Forever After is noticeably more mature than the last one, tackling real-life issues that, this time, 40-something-year-olds can relate to.
Mike Myers still plays the lovable lead ogre, Shrek, as does Cameron Diaz who plays his love interest Princess Fiona (also an ogre). The plot picks off from the end of the Shrek The Third wherein he and Fiona finally have a family and kids of their own. This, ultimately, sets the tone of how the rest of the movie plays courtesy of one big twist.
As Shrek becomes weary of losing his independence, he finds himself longing for the good old days. The daily drudgery of dirty diapers, feeding times, and fatherly responsibilities took its toll on him, making him miss his singlehood when everyone in town either feared him or hunted him down with torches and pitchforks.
It's a classic case of mid-life crisis, one that eventually became so unbearable, he decides to enter a deal with the sneakiest resident of Far, Far, Away: Rumplestiltskin (Walt Dohrn).
Stiltskin is a little twirp who can be described in one word: conniving. He's a social climber who is very eager to step into power even though it means hurting everyone else in Far, Far, Away. His character somewhat resembles a less eccentric Gollum from the Lord Of The Rings series and his facial expressions are reminiscent of Syndrome/Incrediboy from The Incredibles.
Never one to make a deal that is not in his favor, Stiltskin offered Shrek the chance to relive his "glory days". Unwittingly, Shrek accepts only to find out that the grass is definitely not greener on the other side.
Though the entire movie centers on Shrek, the film still features the duo of Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) and Donkey (Eddie Murphy) although there are not as much comedic moments compared to the past movies. Nonetheless, there are still numerous laugh points from start to finish especially when Puss' fatter-than-usual self becomes the object of ridicule.
As mentioned earlier, Shrek Forever After's theme is very mature. So mature that kids will not be able to empathize with the emotions that a father who lost everything is feeling. But on the whole, however, it's a colorful flick that centers on appreciating what you have before it's gone - an all too valuable lesson that kids need to learn during the age of worldly and material wealth.
Shrek Forever After fails to dethrone the original Shrek from the top spot in the series. At best, it's at par with the Shrek The Third although less funny. Must see movie? Yes. Must see again movie? Only if your kids drag you back into the theater. And if the film taught you anything, you shouldn't say no to that.
Shrek Forever After opens in theaters nationwide today, May 21st