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SHREK FOREVER AFTER

SYNOPSIS:
Instead of scaring villagers away like he used to, a reluctant Shrek (voice of Mike Myers) now agrees to autograph pitch forks. What's happened to this ogre's roar? Longing for the days when he felt like a real ogre, Shrek is duped into signing a pact with the smooth-talking dealmaker, Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn). Shrek now finds himself in a twisted, alternate version of Far Far Away, where ogres are hunted, Rumpelstiltskin is king and Shrek and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) have never met. Shrek must undo all he's done in the hope of saving his friends, restoring his world and reclaiming his one True Love.

Review by Louise Keller:
Brilliant animation, 3D magic and a subversive script filled with quirky humour transports us to Swamp Heaven for this perfect Shrek final chapter. It's a whirlwind of a film jam packed with never-ending ideas as all our favourite characters are tossed out of their comfort zone as Shrek's happily-ever-after life goes awry. Beyond the witty premise comes a donkey-load of beguiling details that add such texture to a magical, chaotic reality that already screams ingenuity and hilarity. A manic Rumpelstiltskin, cupcake-eating witches, a pied piper on mouse(roller)skates, an ogre chef with a garlic goatie and a scene stealing overweight puss in boots are some of the elements in this delightful tale that reminds us love conquers all.

Our heads are all in a spin as we are thrust back into the world of the gentle green ogre Shrek (Mike Myers) who is no longer angry enough to roar, but lives a contented existence in the swamp with his beloved Fiona (Cameron Diaz), three ogre babies, best pal Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and the rest of the fairytale bunch. But there's trouble in paradise: Shrek is tired of being a tourist attraction, no longer able to carve mud bath angel wings in peace. Besides, as a family ogre, there are constant and trying demands.

Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn), Shrek's miniscule adversary who specialises in magical evil transactions, has a different wig for his every mood (red means angry) and we love to hate the coven of witches (think Wicked Witch of the West), whether broomstick flying or being forcibly made to dance by the slippery Pied Piper, whose special setting for Ogres brings hilarious results.

Myers has lost none of his touch: his Shrek is big and bold, while at the same time vulnerable. Murphy's Donkey is a goofy favourite, Diaz' Fiona feisty and Antonio Banderas' Puss in Boots, who is overgroomed, overfed and can hardly get up... suffice to say, he steals the film.

The film flies by as fast as the icing on the gingerbread man melts and it feels as short as Pinocchio's nose is long. As sad as it may be to farewell these unique, memorable characters, it is a fabulous and fitting farewell as we are reminded to enjoy today and treasure everything we have.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Careful what you wish for is the underlying message of this fourth and (supposedly) final Shrek, which comes in understated but effective 3D, enabling the filmmakers to hurl a couple of props at the audience. The story is about Shrek (Voice of Mike Myers) selling one day of his life in exchange for a day in which he can be a real ogre again; it's a lesson for us all to beware deals that look too good to be true. They usually are. When the conniving Rumplestiltskin (Walt Dohrn) gets Shrek's signature on the contract, Shrek's world disappears and he is back in ogre land all right, but not at all as he expected.

The familiar characters get a refresher in this film thanks to the storyline, notably Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas), who has let himself go and can barely roll over to get on his paws.... His scenes are some of the most entertaining. Donkey (Eddie Murphy) has lost none of his cheeky charm, and Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) shows us yet another side to her multifaceted personality.

The writing is brisk and funny, the situation allows for plenty of adventure to keep our characters busy and Shrek himself takes a big lesson in learning to treasure what he's really got - crying kids and annoying villagers notwithstanding.

The baddies at Rumplestiltskin's command include an army of broom-flying witches, offering plenty of scope for aerial excitement. The irreverent tone of the original is maintained and the heart of the film - true love - gives the story its emotional anchor. As sequels go, it's better than most.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

SHREK FOREVER AFTER (PG)
(US, 2010)

VOICES: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Jon Hamm, John Cleese, Craig RobinsonWalt Dohrn, Jane Lynch, Larry King

PRODUCER: Teresa Chang, Gina Shay

DIRECTOR: Mike Mitchell

SCRIPT: Josh Klausner, Darren Lemke

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Yong Duk Jhun

EDITOR: David Teller

MUSIC: Harry Gregson-Williams

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Max Boas, Michael Hernandez

RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 17, 2010







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