Movie review: "Shrek Forever After"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The Counting Crows said it best when they quoted Joni Mitchell - "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone?"

Shrek, though, apparently hasn't made it past "Accidentally in Love" in the Crows' songbook, which is why we're forced to deal with "Shrek Forever After," the ogre's fourth misadventure (and first in 3-D).

Feeling trapped in his monotonous life as husband and father, Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) makes an ill-advised deal with Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn) that gives him one more day as a feared monster in exchange for one day from his past.

That day just happens to be the day Shrek was born, which means the ogre has 24 hours until he's blinked out of existence. This alternate reality also coincides with Rumpelstiltskin's rise to royalty and Fiona's (Cameron Diaz) transformation into a rebellion-leading warrior woman who wants nothing to do with the new Shrek.

Like Disney's much-maligned direct-to-video sequels, this fourth installment feels like an excuse to squeeze a few more dollars out of a tired franchise.

The familiar clever pop-culture references return - a "Wizard of Oz" homage is especially funny - but it's the duo of Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss (Antonio Banderas) who keep the movie from being totally stale.

That pair's sidekick schtick is easily the best part of "Forever After." This one's cute enough to entertain the kids, but never rises above the level of forgettable kiddie flick.

"Shrek Forever After"

Opens Friday

Grade: C+