Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 21
 
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
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Cinema

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

I DO YOU WANT TO FIND HER OR NOT?: Donkey (voice-over by Eddie Murphy) is convincing Shrek (voice-over by Mike Myers) that he hasn’t a prayer of finding his future bride Fiona without Donkey’s help. Shrek must kiss her in order to be released from the spell, which has sent him back in time, so that he can return to the future and resume his life.

Shrek Forever After: Ogre Matches Wits With Rumpelstiltskin in Series Finale

Kam Williams

Shrek, when first adapted to the screen in 2001 from William Steig’s popular children’s book, was an enchanting fairy tale with a marvelous moral about appreciating each other’s inner beauty. While delivering that heartwarming message, the picture kept you in stitches thanks to the hilarious antics of the title characters (Mike Myers) and Donkey (Eddie Murphy).

Although that animated adventure spawned several engaging sequels, judging by Shrek Forever After, it is clear that the scriptwriters have run out of ideas for additional sequels.

This finale in the series is set soon after the conclusion of the original film, thereby ignoring the developments that occurred in Shrek -2 and -3. At the point of departure, we find that the once feared ugly green ogre is living in the swamp with Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and their three children. However, Shrek has grown discontent with married life, and with the fact that the local villagers love him instead of being afraid of him.

So, he signs a contract with Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn), a diminutive con man who promises to transform him back into his former scary self for a day. However, Shrek signs the contract without bothering to read its fine print, which says that after the 24-hour period expires, he will disappear as if he had never existed.

Consequently, Shrek is transported back to the time before he had met Donkey and his other friends, including his wife. Overwhelmed by regret, Shrek learns that his only hope to reverse the spell is by fulfilling the agreement’s escape clause which requires that he kiss Princess Fiona.

Of course this proves easier said than done, since he must first locate her and then convince her that he’s not a stranger but is really her husband in a future time. Furthermore, Rumpelstiltskin, just like the villain of Shrek-1, is a dwarf with designs on the throne of the land of Far, Far Away. Another similarity has Shrek befriending Donkey before embarking on a quest to rescue both the fair maiden and her family’s peaceable kingdom.

Unfortunately, the dialogue, which in the first film was filled with witty repartee and clever allusions to classic cartoons and nursery rhymes, has been replaced by unimaginative exchanges. In fact, this sequel is so bad that Dreamworks Animation has reportedly cancelled plans to make a spinoff movie about Antonio Banderas’s character Puss in Boots.

Fair (1 star). Rated PG for crude humor, action, and brief mild epithets. Running time: 93 Minutes. Studio: Paramount Pictures.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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