photo: Bill Poland

by Rick Grant
The end of the Shrek franchise means that Mike Myers will have to find another regular gig. Undeniably, Shrek is Myers’ most enduring and popular character. Some would argue it was Austin Powers.
In this final episode, presented in 3D, Shrek has it all–3 cute children, a loving wife, Fiona, (Cameron Diaz) a rad house in the tree, and a star ogre legacy. He is so well known, a tourist bus passes by to show day trippers his happy family life.
The mighty ogre daydreams of the days when he reveled in his ogreness, and people were scared of him. Now they ask him to roar like an ogre to give the kids a cheap thrill. He’s become a tourist attraction. He creates a fantasy in his mind of a return to his roots when ogres were feared beasts of the forest.
So the script takes the viewers on an adventure based on the premise that what if Shriek had not rescued Princess Fiona. Obviously, things would have been very different. Yes, the story has a It’s a Wonderful Life vibe.
Much of the hilarious material goes to the supporting characters. Donkey (Eddie Murphy) is a laugh riot in this last Shrek adventure. But Myers’ effortless delivery of his eccentric characterization of the ogre is the glue that holds the whole story together. He plays the straight man in this episode, trying to get his ogre groove back. Puss ‘n Boots (Antonio Banderas) steals his scenes as the swashbuckling fat cat.
This Shrek film is loaded with pop culture references and the songs are chosen for their satirical value, which work to garner laughs from the older people in the audience. The script has a lot of complex comedic material that plays on the Shrek legacy. It goes by so fast, it may take a second viewing to appreciate the references.
The absurdity of this big ugly green ogre being a loving father is of course hilarious in itself. The whole Shrek universe is a great comedic setup. This final Shrek delivers continuous laughs and weirdness with many crazy dance scenes.