Billed as the farewell to one of animated cinema’s most popular characters, Shrek Forever After is a reasonably satisfying conclusion to the loveable ogre’s fairytale adventures.
All the main characters are back for this final chapter which sees a jaded Shrek (Mike Myers) drowning in a sea of mundane domesticity rather than the wedded bliss he was expecting.
He is pining for the days when the locals cowered in fear at the sight of him so when Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn) offers him the chance to have one last day of ogre fun he unthinkingly signs on the dotted line.
Unfortunately Shrek is transported to an alternative Far Far Away where he never existed, the contract has allowed the diminutive baddie to become king and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) is the leader of the underground ogre resistance.
Shrek must win the newly feisty Fiona’s love for a second time to break the contract before the day is out or he will simply disappear.
Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas, as Donkey and Puss In Boots respectively, get all the funniest lines again and it is satisfying to see them embarking on their friendship with Shrek once more.
A nice touch is making the former swash-buckling feline a pampered kitty whose newly acquired padding is down to too many saucers of cream from owner Fiona.
Walt Dohrn is perfectly cast as the weaselly Rumpelstiltskin whose whiny voice really gets under your skin. Story board artist and writer Dohrn’s test vocals were so good that studio chiefs picked him to play the final role – and that bold decision has really paid off with this memorable performance.
Shrek himself has lost a little of his sparkle and seems to play second fiddle to the more charismatic Donkey and Puss and the plot feels a little contrived as we relive some of his previous adventures in this story.
The 3D version works reasonably well – particularly during a flying sequence – but it could have been used to better effect as, in the main, it adds little to the storytelling.
It’s been a hell of a ride but after his fourth outing our favourite ogre has probably earned his retirement now.