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May 25, 2010

It’s A Wonderful Life, Shrek Style

by Jonn Holland

That tag line pretty much sums up the premise of the movie, except that it isn’t Christmas, there is no angel named Charlie and Jimmy Stewart is not in it. However, the idea is the same.Like the late Mr Stewart’s character in It’s a Wonderful Life, our hero Shrek finds himself lamenting his life and wishing for the “old days” obviously taking all the good things for granted. As if mirroring that famous Christmas tale Shrek finds himself in an alternate universe in which he was never born. After that, the similarities cease.

As a matter of fact, Shrek doesn’t end up in the alternate version of Far, Far Away by some angelic magic, oh no. (Spoiler) Instead he gets tricked by Rumpelstiltskin into trading a day from his past in order to have a single day of nostalgia. Sure enough, Shrek gets his wish, but soon finds out exactly which day he gave up and to make matters worse, he only has one day to reverse it all. I’ll say no more of the plot as I don’t want to ruin the movie for those who have not seen it yet.

The film itself was as fun as I expected a Shrek  movie to be. It had sight gags and the usual “punny” jokes, such as Donkey calling Puss a “Cat-tastrophe” and Puss retorting, ” And you? You are re-donk-ulous!” Honestly, it works in all its…um…cuteness. The 3D was done well and it added to the feel of the movie quite nicely.  Overall, it is an excellent movie and a great addition to the quadrology-or is that Shrekology. Anyway, it is a lot of fun and great for a family night out.

My only critique of the entire film is that the ending is slightly anticlimactic. Everything ends as expected, happy ending and all. Not that I didn’t want it to end the way that it did, but it really would have been nice if there had been a bit more tension build up throughout the story so that it could end spectacularly. Maybe its just me and I prefer more drama in my films. Were I the director of Shrek Forever After I would have caused the audience to have a little more doubt in Shrek’s ability to succeed in his task.

In the end, Shrek Forever After does its thing and does it with true Shrek style and ultimately, the message is clear: It truly is a wonderful life, whether you’re Shrek, James Stewart, or just the average kid on the block.

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