Running Time: 94 minutes
Release Date: 17 June 2010
Check cinema guide for session times and location
The fourth and final chapter in the animated Shrek series (the planned 5th one has been canned by Dreamworks) is about to hit Australian screens. This time it is offered in 3D which is the flavour of 2010 and all the regular cast reprise their voiceovers. The story ties back into the first film, just before Shrek (Mike Myers) saves Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) from her curse, her parents King Harold (John Cleese) and Queen Lillian (Julie Andrews) are about to do deal with the devilish Rumplestiltskin. In order for Rumplestiltskin (Walt Dohrn) to break the curse they must sign a contract ordaining him as the new king of Far Far Away. Much to his dismay Shrek comes to the rescue before the contract is sealed. Fast forward to present day, Shrek is suffering from celebrity fatigue and the overwhelming demands of family life which leads to a mid life Ogre crisis. Rumplestiltskin upon hearing his longing to become a real ogre even just for a day hatches a cunning plot and so the adventure begins with Shrek’s offsiders Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) coming to their friend’s aid.
I watched this film with some trepidation as surely there would be no storyline worth exploring or new material and gags left to exploit by the fourth instalment but I was pleasantly surprised. The plot structure was solid and though not entirely unfamiliar it works as a fitting ending to the Shrek juggernaut. The use of 3D technology in this animated format is not over the top but brings another visual dimension particularly in scenes of witches flying on broomsticks, reminiscent of Harry Potter films. It actually pays homage to a few films borrowing from Groundhog Day, ET, It’s a Wonderful Life action flicks in general. Another scene where an overexerted Donkey is breathing heavily was magically brought to realism. Interspersed with a few good laughs it keeps rolling on to through the 94 minutes just short enough for most kids attention span. As with the other films the characters of Murphy and Banderas provide most of the interest and laughs. Both kids and adults will enjoy underscored with some solid family themes.