Evergreen hero says good-bye in comic style
SHREK FOREVER AFTER
The fourth and final instalment of the popular Shrek franchise sees everyone’s favourite Scottish cartoon ogre return for what’s supposedly the final chapter (predictably upgraded to 3D). Like many who saw the third installment, Shrek (voiced as ever by Mike Myers) has grown pretty bored. Bogged down by both family life (lest we forget, he and Fiona now have a brood of little Shreks) and his Far Far Away celebrity status, he’s in the midst of a midlife crisis, longing for the hang up-free days of his life as an outcast. Enter villainous Rumpelstiltskin, with whom he strikes an ill-conceived magical deal – one day as his old reclusive self in return for a day from Shrek’s past. He finds himself plunged into a parallel universe where Rumpelstiltskin rules the land with an army of witches and Shrek’s friends don’t know him – and he’s only got a day to sort it out.
The Shrek franchise’s trump card ahs always been its inexhaustible array of wonderful characters, and the parallel universe plot allows a fun reinvention of the cast. We encounter Fiona as a Boudicca-style she-warrior and a Puss In Boots who’s let himself go. The film can’t compete with the anarchic originality of the first two Shrek features, but it’s still funny and just about avoids spiraling into a pastiche of itself. Kids will still have a hoot, and parents will be relieved it isn’t the tired bow-out it could have been.