Review in a Hurry: A surprisingly good story and mediocre jokes land this franchise finale somewhere between Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third.
The Bigger Picture: Now a father and husband, grumpy green ogre Shrek (Mike Myers) is finding domestic bliss with Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and their triplets to be a little...dull. What happened to the good old days when people were afraid of him and his swamp was his own?
Sensing Shrek's restlessness, con man Rumplestiltskin (Walt Dohrn) tricks him into signing up for a dream day in which Shrek can relive his old glory. But the results are a world turned on its head, in which Rumple is the tyrannical king served by ogre-hunting witches, Fiona has become the leader of an underground ogre resistance, and none of Shrek's old friends—including Fiona—recognize him. Worst of all, if Shrek doesn't once again bestow true love's kiss on Fiona and break the spell by morning, this alternate world will become reality—and Shrek won't be in it.
After three Shrek movies (particularly the poorly received Shrek the Third), it was hard to believe Dreamworks was going to be able to find an interesting enough story for a fourth installment, but Shrek Forever After is actually pretty compelling. In the new world order that threatens to take over Far Far Away, we actually get to see those characters we know and love rediscover each other. Plus, Fiona is now such a badass, you kind of wish she got to be that way all along.
The 180—a Second Opinion: The funny stuff is in no way as fresh as in Shrek or Shrek 2, but there are still laughs here—especially with the now terribly out-of-shape Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas). Plus, the 3-D is kind of fun—I may have even flinched once or twice.
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