Shrek Forever After : 3 of 5

Although each Shrek sequel has been a little worse than the previous one, I still wanted to see Shrek Forever After just to have a good laugh with my pal Melinda. While my overall opinion generally isn't that different from the original way back in 2001, at least I can say that this 4th movie is better than the 3rd (breaking the downward trend), and the new characters (as well as the new spins on old ones) are lots of fun! The story involves a deal with Rumpelstiltskin (who is voiced extremely well) so Shrek can feel what it's like to be a "real ogre" again. I loved the setup sequences where Shrek's daily life is presented as a quick-cut montage, but once the plot gets started those moments start to fade into eventually sappy stuff. Actually, the end is way too mushy for a Shrek movie if you ask me, but I guess they wanted the series to end on a super-happy note. It really liked the introduction of the Pied Piper (floating in on the backs of rats), and watching the ogres dance to his crazy flute was great! But for me, the best characters are Puss in Boots (who is tubby and hilarious, even with the same tired big eyes gag) and the Gingerbread Man (who gets to be a bad-ass for a second before meeting an unexpected and shocking end!). The animation is certainly well done, but I can't say there were any magnificent moments that really grabbed me, but I did think it was cool to see Shrek riding a witches broom while being chased by other witches! Of course, the pop music is all over the place (but that's pretty much expected now), even more than the previous films. I guess they wanted to sell one more big soundtrack CD since this is the last one! The 3D effects were well done (nothing overused), but I still found it totally unnecessary to enjoy the film (I'll be glad when the 3D fad wears off). Shrek Forever After is a fun movie that does a fine job of ending the Shrek saga, and it was nice to laugh out loud and enjoy a cool animated comedy!