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Movie Review: 'Shrek Forever After'

Everyone loves Shrek and I can see why. There is drama, action, and comedy packed into an hour and half long film, that it seems to leave little room for flaws. But the flaws are major ones in my view.

3.5 Starfish out of 5

What if you signed a contract that was supposed to make all your dreams come true, but found out that it was a dreadful trick?

Everyone’s favorite green ogre Shrek finds himself in a huge dilemma in this DreamWork’s 4th and final Shrek movie, opening TODAY (May 21, 2010).  He signs a contract with Rumplestiltskin, a dwarf magician when Shrek gets into a mid-life crisis.  After having triplets with his wife Fiona and settling down at Far Far Away, Shrek feels that he has become too domestic when he goes from ravaging the countryside to signing pitchforks.  He wants to be a REAL ogre again, instead of a jolly green joke that everyone seems to think he is now.  But Stiltskin traded a day in the future for the day when Shrek was born.  His life now only lasts a single day, and his wife Fiona, friends Donkey and Puss don’t remember who he is.  Fiona rejects him, Donkey takes him to prison, and Puss has grown fatter than a beach ball!  How can Shrek find a way to stop the curse before the time was up?

There were so many funny scenes that it was a challenge to pick my favorites.  One that I am sure everyone will love is when a small, pudgy boy with a voice like an irritable brat challenges Shrek time and time again to roar for him.

Shrek Forever After Movie Poster

I don’t think the 3D adds much to this movie, unlike DreamWork’s How to Train Your Dragon, or Disney/Pixar's Up, where the 3D added a lot of excitement and realistic feel for the flying scenes.Everyone loves Shrek and I can see why.  There is drama, action, and comedy packed into an hour and half long film, that it seems to leave little room for flaws.  But the flaws are major ones in my view.  I give this movie 3.5 starfish.  The main characters (to me) are not that appealing, compared to those in How to Train Your Dragon, made by the same studio, DreamWorks.  Hiccup and Toothless in Dragon are richer, more developed, much more visually appealing and connected to the audience than characters in Shrek.  

How could Fiona’s parents, the King and Queen, be so naïve and trust their daughter’s life to a stranger (Rumplestiltskin) who lives with witches and looks and acts so weird?  When Shrek signs the contract, his old life disappears and then he realizes he doesn’t want that life.  He goes back to his old “normal” life after a long struggle.  But I’m not sure if that solved his original problem.

Another flaw is that unlike Shrek’s other friends, Rumplestiltskin remembered who Shrek was even though Shrek had never been born!  I know this sounds confusing, but, when you see the film, you’ll understand.  My mom disagreed with me because she thought Rumplestiltskin remembered Shrek because he is a magician who created Shrek’s messy new life.  Finally, how did the Donkey get trapped for just licking a falling drop of syrup from a waffle bait?

The moral: Be content with what you have.

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At 10 years old, Perry Chen is the youngest award-winning film critic, Annie Awards for Animation presenter and radio talk show host of "Perry Previews the Movies" on www.wsRadio.com. Perry reviews films on a starfish rating system, 5 being the best. He is also the youngest blogger on Animation World Network, Asian American Journalist Association and San Diego Press Club’s youngest member.  Perry reviews movies on a multi-media platform: TV, radio, print, and web.  His reviews are available on www.perryspreviews.com Sign on his website to receive newsletter, and a chance to win free movie passes for G/PG-rated family-friendly films.

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