Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Shrek Forafter Ever

The problem with the latest in the series is that I'm wondering what happened to Shrek The Series. It's like DreamWorks have decided that they can churn out any old story and as long as it features a large green ogre, it'll make money.

Well, that's like as not to be true, Shrek has cemented itself as "movies that kids will demand to see", but note that I said "a large green ogre" and not, say, "a large green ogre and lots of jokes". Because if there's one thing missing, and one element that is nearly as core as the ogre himself, it's the humour, and the funnies are largely missing. (Not gone entirely, but every movie pretty much has some comedy moments.)

The basic idea is that Shrek isn't an ogre any more and ends up in an alternative reality where he can ogre away to his heart's content. Of course it is more complicated that this, but it's largely about Shrek coming to terms with his life, and, oh hey, wasn't that the point of the last few movies? But they do this by making the movie all serious and dark and it loses a lot of its charm. [Although be warned, it's not a proper alternative reality, there are no zeppelins, the classic alternative reality marker.]

Fortunately, we do have Rumpelstiltskin, who gets the best lines, but he's the villain so we know how that will end up. The alternative reality nature of the film allows the movie to pare down its bloated extra cast (which is really pushed in the opening scenes), but then fails to let the main cast do anything interesting.

I'm not even sure this is a movie for the kiddies. I suspect most of them will enjoy it because it's a Shrek movie, and not because it's all that good. YMMV.


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