Monday, June 28, 2010

Shrek Forever After - Zero Stars

It's kind of ironic that the two stars of the Shrek series are notoriously known as comedians who "used to be funny." Could there be a better parallel for the series itself? Though I'm not a fan, I'll admit that the first film had it's merits, but these sequels, of which I've seen two and four, are absolute brutality for audiences. A few years ago, Jeffrey Katzenberg stated that the series was always imagined to be four films... Let's hope that there's some truth in that lie and cross our fingers that the shamelessness of these cash-grab sequels stops here. The only evidence I see that this was all planned is that each of the titles of the sequels can easily be modified into a reference to shit. Or maybe that's just more irony.

Shrek Forever Afturd has direct-to-video written all over it, not even concerning itself with any kind of timeline that coincides with the other films in the series. Instead we see him unhappy and despairing in married life, hoping he could have a day to himself, which some unfunny character grants him. But blah blah blah it all goes wrong and Shrek ends up in a parallel universe where he didn't save the world and everything is bleak, and nobody knows who he is, and he has to reclaim his wife's love. So it's basically just a rip-off of It's a Wonderful Life, or to be more qualitatively accurate, a rip-off of Mr. Destiny with James Belushi. The jokes are flat, focusing mainly on pointing out boring, nonsensical incongruities between the real world and the fictitious Far Far Away where the film takes place, interspersed with some poorly executed bathroom humor and some bad music cues that are supposed to be funny.

Anyone who finds anything in this film entertaining is too young to understand the poignance of the message, and anyone who does understand the poignance of the message is too old to find anything in the film to be entertaining. I'd highly recommend this film, but only if you like ugly animation, shameless sequels, boring characters, awkward music cues, or The Love Guru.

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