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Shrek Forever After (3D)


Stars: Voices: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Walt Dohm, Jon Hamm, Jane Lynch, Lake Bell, Craig Robinson, Regis Philbin, Mary Kay Place, Kathy Griffin

Director: Mike Mitchell

Shrek meets It's a Wonderful Life. Tired of his three yowling children and the disappearance of his old existence, the jolly green ogre is waylaid by the devious Rumpelstiltskin and persuaded to sign a contract guaranteeing him one day in his old life as a much-feared, mud-bathing ogre, in exchange for giving Rumpel any day of his existence.

Naturally, the cackling fiend (played without much personality by screenwriter Dohm) chooses the day of Shrek's birth, ensuring that our hero never existed. All too briefly, he terrorises the land, before being trapped by Rumpel and his coven of witches (all of whom have too little facial expression).

Shrek finds that the king and queen of Far Far Away have vanished and that Rumpel now rules the land. Donkey has gone to seed and Puss in Boots has gone to fat. But wait. True Love's first kiss can still reverse everything. Problem is that true love Fiona is now the fierce leader of the ogre resistance and doesn't recognise Shrek at all.

This slightly darker story is an improvement on Shrek 3, but still nowhere near the standard of the first two films. Donkey and Puss again threaten to steal the show, but are simply not given enough opportunities, although fans of the musketeer moggy will be glad to know that a spin-off Puss in Boots movie will be ready for next year. Kids will enjoy this one, but adults may be less impressed.

David Quinlan

USA 2010. UK Distributor: Paramount (DreamWorks). Colour by deluxe/Technicolor.
93 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 26 Jun 2010