Shrek makes a bad deal with Rumpelstiltskin and accidentally
erases his own existence, giving him only a day to set things right.
Shrek Forever After (2010)
Directed by Mike Mitchell
Written by Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke
Starring Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz,
Antonio Banderas, Walt Dohrn, Julie Andrews, Jon Hamm,
Craig Robinson, Jane Lynch, John Cleese
Sequel to 2007's Shrek the Third
Based on characters created by William Steig
Shrek Forever After is a bit of a watered-down ending to this celebrated franchise, but it has enough moments to enjoy. In this entry, Shrek is contending with a mid-life crisis and is yearning for his bachelor days when he was a feared ogre with the freedom to do whatever he wanted. It's the logical next step in this franchise, and it's handled really well. This crisis causes Shrek to fall right into the clutches of the sleazy deal-maker Rumpelstiltskin (Dohrn), who tricks Shrek into erasing his own existence, and giving the entire kingdom over to Rumpel. Cue the adventure.
In this new world, Shrek was never born, so Fiona was never rescued from the tower and her parents signed their kingdom over to Rumpel. Fiona is now leading a resistance of ogres against Rumpel's iron-fisted rule. The only way for Shrek to erase the deal is to obtain true love's kiss, but Fiona doesn't love him anymore. In this fourth entry, the stakes have never been higher and we get to see neat re-imaginings of the characters we've come to love over the years. There's just something holding it back from being as good as the first two. Maybe the characters aren't realistic enough, and while the fantasy setting provides a lot of leeway for realism, at its core, this is still a story about a lonely man becoming a family man.
Shrek Forever After is the weakest film in the franchise, but it isn't a bad movie. There's a lot of funny moments, but ultimately it's pretty forgettable compared to the other ones in the franchise. You get the feeling that the film was done primarily for the money. We don't really get to explore the new ogre characters, and I think this film could've benefited from the original film's writers, as they had the perfect blend of kids' movie and adult comedy.