Shrek Forever After, where to begin. The fact that it breaks the norm of entries a series should have when it comes to an end, creating a sense of OCD? No, I highly doubt that this is the final chapter, unfortunately. The fact that the main thing I remember about the movie is how 12 million Shrek-branded cups were recalled from a McDonald's promotion? Interesting, but no and besides, who was honestly going to drink from those cups anyways. Or maybe the identity crisis created by incoherent advertising. Is the movie called "The Final Chapter" or "Forever After"? Even the Blu-ray release suffers the same problem. This film is average at best, it relies too heavily on recalling past events in the series and at times it feels like you are watching a 90 minute clip show.
The Shrek franchise has never had a deep storyline and instead opts to keep things interesting through jokes that are a mix of toilet humor and pop/fairy tale references. This time around, there is more emphasis on the story, but how the events unfold makes everything feel pointless in the long run. It revolves around a disgruntled Shrek who goes berserk at his children's birthday party and shortly falling into a trap set by Rumpelstiltskin to take over Far Far Away. Shrek is granted his wish of living a day as things once were before the events of the first Shrek movie by giving up any day of his life. The catch is that Shrek happened to give away the day he was born. After meeting up with a confused Donkey, Shrek discovers that the only way to get his old life back before he disappears at the end of the day is through a true love's kiss with Fiona. This is not a movie about time travel though. Shrek is transported to an alternate reality so his actions don't have any consequences. That is the main issue with the entire story. It is hard to feel any genuine concern for any of the characters on screen because you know right from the start that there are only two possible ways the movie can end, sad or happily ever after.
It feels as if DreamWorks themselves didn't have much hope for Shrek Forever After considering that they released it nearly a full month before Toy Story 3. There were not any memorable jokes from this movie, but at least the voice actors did a fine job, especially Eddie Murphy's role as Donkey. It is better than Shrek the Third but I'm still not sure if I can fully recommend this movie. Knowing very well that it is a movie directed towards children, maybe I am being too harsh. The thing is, there are far better family films available at the moment that must be recommended before Shrek Forever After should be considered such as its competitor at the time, Toy Story 3 and Despicable Me.