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Shrek Forever After (U)

The ViewBristol Review

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Review byMatthew Turner01/07/2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 93 mins

Impressively directed and superbly animated, this is a clever reworking of It's A Wonderful Life that manages to freshen up the franchise, allowing for a much darker tone and a subtle revamping of all the characters while still retaining the expected barrage of fast-paced jokes and sight gags.

What's it all about?
Directed by Mike Mitchell, Shrek Forever After is the fourth instalment in the Shrek franchise. Despite having achieved his happily ever after with Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and their three children, Shrek (Mike Myers) is feeling frustrated with his daily routine where he never gets a minute to himself and he longs for just one day of being a scary ogre again.

However, when vengeful Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn) tricks him into exchanging a day of true ogredom for just one day of his childhood, Shrek finds himself plunged into an alternate reality where he was never born, meaning that his friends don't recognise him and Fiona is a feisty warrior princess intent on bringing an end to Rumpelstiltskin's evil reign. With the clock ticking and a newly-befriended Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss (Antonio Banderas) by his side, Shrek has just one day to make Fiona fall in love with him again.

The Good
Essentially, the plot is a clever reworking of It's A Wonderful Life and as such, it works brilliantly, allowing for a much darker tone than usual and moving away from the increasingly cluttered supporting cast as well as providing a story that is significantly more compelling than either of the previous two sequels. By the same token, it offers subtle (and not-so-subtle) variations on the familiar characters, such as a hilariously fattened-up Puss-in-Boots or kick-ass warrior Fiona leading an army of ogres.

The voice cast are as wonderful as ever and there are some superb new characters thrown into the mix too – Dohrn makes a brilliantly slimy villain as Rumpelstiltskin and there's great comic support from Jon Hamm, Jane Lynch and especially Craig Robinson as three members of Fiona's ogre army.

The Great
The animation is gorgeous throughout and the 3D effects are used well, particularly during the impressive action sequences. Needless to say, there are also plenty of laughs, with superb one-liners and several excellent sight gags.

Worth seeing?
This is a hugely enjoyable, well made and frequently hilarious sequel that's actually better than Shrek 2 and 3. Recommended.
Shrek Forever After Gala

Film Trailer

Shrek Forever After (U)
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Content updated: 05/10/2011 01:33

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