Saturday, May 22, 2010


By D.E.Levine

Director: Mike Mitchell
Writers: Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke
Cast: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphey, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Hamm, John Cleese, Craig Robinson, Walt Dohrn, Jane Lynch, Lake Bell, Kathy Griffin, Mary Kay Place, Kristen Schaal, Meredith Vieira, Ryan Seacrest, Cody Cameron, Larry King, Regis Philbin, Christopher Knights, Conrad Vernon et al.
Producers: Teresa Cheng and Gina Shay
Executive Producers: Andrew Adamson, Aron Warner and John H. Williams
Original Music: Harry Gregson-Williams
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Genre: Animated, Comedy, 3D

It's hard to keep the momentum going through a fourth film in the Shrek franchise.

Shrek, of course is the ogre, that is lovable rather than scary and is married to Princess Fiona, an ogress herself.

When we see Shrek in this film he's suffering from stress from being a husband and father to three children who are adorable but needy in their childlike way.

Of course, there's a villain. In this case it's a sleazy Rumpelstiltskin who convinces Shrek to sign a contract in which he gives away one day of childhood in exchange for one day as a grownup without grownup responsibilities.

Unfortunately, there's fine print in the contract that makes it a nightmare for Shrek.

It seems that Rumpelstiltskin has been plotting ever since Fiona's parents were saved from signing a contract to turn over the kingdom of Far Far Away in exchange for the rescue of their daughter.

When Shrek is cajoled into signing his own contract, he finds there's an unprecedented and unexpected requirement that plunges him into a world where he was never born.

The story here isn't totally original but is a retelling of "It's a Wonderful Life". Plunged into a living nightmare, Shrek reunites with the incomparable Donkey and spends the rest of the film seeking to regain the bourgeois life he regretted and lost.

It's the age old story of not knowing what you've got until it's gone and then striving to recover it.

Despite the fact that it's not totally original, Shrek is funny, filled with jokes for kids and inside jokes for adults. The sound track is wonderful and of course since it's in 3D there's an added feeling of being immersed in the movie.

The best thing about the movie is the brilliant characters that remain brilliant and endearing nearly a decade after they were first introduced.