The Shrek series ends not with a bang, or quite a whimper, either. Shrek Forever After feels more like a collective shrug by everyone involved, and while it does have its moments, doesn't touch it's predecessors in terms of subtle wit or storytelling.
Just like the previous films, Forever After takes Shrek and the gang and ties them in with some famous fairy tale characters. This time the film's baddie is Rumpelstiltskin (voice with madcap glee by Dohrn), a hobbit-looking fellow who makes magical deals with people, giving them whatever they want in return for whatever he wants. He almost had Far Far Away in his hands when Princess Fiona's parents nearly signed a contract giving him the kingdom in return for breaking her curse. Much to his chagrin, news reached them that she was saved right before signing the deal, and Rumpelstiltskin has held a grudge ever since.
His chance comes along when Shrek, who no longer considers himself a "real ogre," since he's been domesticated by family life, leaps at the chance to have one day free of all his ties - all he has to do is give up a day from his childhood.
Little does he know that the day Rumpelstiltskin takes is the day he was born, which sends him into a universe where he was never born, his friends don't know who he is, Fiona freed herself and is leader of an underground Ogre resistance, and Rumpelstiltskin rules Far Far Away. It's up to Shrek to fix things before his day is up.
The plot is a little needlessly complex, but the intent is good; the writers wanted to recall the first film, where audiences met these characters for the first time, and so in this new world, audiences are reintroduced to their favorites.
The voice acting is well done by all, but nothing spectacular. As usual, the banter between Shrek (Mike Meyers) and Donkey (Eddie Murphy) is what saves the movie. Everyone else seems a little bored.
It's not that Shrek Forever After is a bad movie, really. It's just that it doesn't bring anything new to the table, and relies too much on the same old jokes.
There are certainly worse ways to end the series, but it could have been better, too.
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