Reviewed by: David Criswell, Ph.D.
|Featuring:||Jane Lynch (Gretched), Cameron Diaz (Princess Fiona—voice), Julie Andrews (Queen Lillian—voice), Eddie Murphy (Donkey—voice), Antonio Banderas (Puss in Boots—voice), Mike Myers (Shrek—voice), Craig Robinson (Cookie—voice), Jon Hamm (Brogan—voice), Ryan Seacrest (Father of Butter Pants—voice), Kristen Schaal (Alice—voice), Kathy Griffin (Witch—voice), Gilbert Gottfried (Happy the Hobgoblin—voice), Regis Philbin (Mabel the Ugly Stepsister—voice), Larry King (Doris the Ugly Stepsister—voice), Christopher Knights (Three Blind Mice—voice), Cody Cameron (Pinocchio / The Three Little Pigs / Ogre Triplets—voice), Conrad Vernon (Gingy / Mongo—voice), Walt Dohrn (Rumpelstiltskin—voice), Meredith Vieira (Broomsy the Witch), Mike Mitchell (Butter Pants), Aron Warner (Big Bad Wolf—voice)|
|Producer:||DreamWorks, Pacific Data Images (PDI), Andrew Adamson, Teresa Cheng, Gina Shay, Aron Warner, John H. Williams|
“The Final Chapter”
After a disappointing outing in “Shrek 3,” the “final chapter,” “Shrek” returns to its roots. It is entertaining, fun, and yes, rather crude at times. Those who have seen the first three “Shrek” films know about what to expect by now. A politically correct take on the fairy tales of old, with a smattering of crudity, jokes about bodily functions, and an angry Ogre as the hero. Perhaps not the stuff for young children, but certainly a popular series with more than a little appeal to the older crowd.
In this “final chapter,” Shrek is tricked into signing a contract with Rumpelstiltskin who changes time and history. In the alternate reality, Shrek was never born and Fionna was never rescued, and Far Far Awayland is ruled by the dictator Rumpelstiltskin and his band of witches, but in the magical contract Shrek has one day to find the new Fionna (who does not recognize him) and wins “love’s first kiss.”
Of course, Donkey is back, but this time around Puss N Boots has gained a little weight and has trouble rolling over or licking his… backside. That brings us to the crude elements which young children should probably not be a party to. There is animated baby nudity, jokes about dirty underwear, ample fart jokes, eating of eyeballs and bugs, and a disgusting joke where it appears as if the baby is urinating in Shrek’s face (he isn’t). Add to this the transvestite barmaid and the introduction of an Ogre cook who has all the stereotypical nuances of a homosexual.
Now, all of this is probably something anyone who has seen the “Shrek” films will expect, but Christian parents should still use great caution in taking young children to see this. Children are much more savvy than we were as kids, in no small part due to the fact that these sort of films “educate” children about these things (e.g., homosexuality, potty humor, etc.) at a very early age.
As to the film itself, Shrek is definitely back to form. The film has much the feel of the first film, as Fionna, Donkey, and even Puss N Boots no longer recognize him. It is by no means a remake and has a vastly different, and even refreshing, plot. Nevertheless, it has the feel of the early films in that Shrek must overcome his baser nature to win the love of his old friends and defeat Rumpelstiltskin.
Shrek is a welcome way to end the series (if it really is the “final chapter”), but it is strictly for older kids and parents. I would advise against young children going to see this film.
NOTE: This review is based on the 2D showing. I despise 3D with a vengeance. Despite the claims, this is the exact same technology used in the 50s. The red and blue glasses were only made for television, since the technology does not work on old TVs. It is fad which grants some “wow” factors, but gets old quickly. The characters all look like cardboard cut outs, and some people report getting headaches. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to see the “urination joke” in 3D, and fear for those who do.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.