SHREK FOREVER AFTER
Has there ever been a cinematic storybook adventure - to say nothing of an animated, comedic one - as profoundly joyless as Shrek Forever After? It's not just that the subject matter for this latest, potentially last, and certainly least of the Shrek series concerns middle-aged dissatisfaction and inertia, themes that aren't exactly conducive to lighthearted escapism. The bigger problem is that nearly everything about the film, from the plotline to the jokes to the voice acting, is lethargic and heavy-spirited, and that air of fatigue is likely intensified if, like me, you catch it in 3D, with the gray of your eyewear dulling the movie's already-pretty-dull color palette. From its opening beats, Shrek Forever After feels less like a follow-up than the grudging fulfillment of a contract obligation, and I left this third sequel feeling about 10 years older than I did before it began.