This week at the movies, we’ve got a fairy tale finale (Shrek Forever After, starring the voices of Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz) and a clueless commando (MacGruber, starring Will Forte and Kristen Wiig). What do the critics have to say?
Everyone’s favorite ogre returns this week in the fourth (and reportedly final) installment of the Shrek franchise, but is there enough fairy tale magic left after Shrek the Third? Unfortunately, the critics don’t all seem to think so. Presented in 3D (a franchise first), Shrek Forever After finds its titular hero longing for the good old days, when he was still a regular ogre. When the conniving Rumpelstiltskin tricks Shrek into giving up a day from his past in exchange for a day as a regular ogre, Shrek unwittingly signs away the day of his birth, effectively rewriting the history of Far Far Away… as if he never existed. Though critics say Forever After has its share of moments, and it’s a step up from the third installment, most also felt that the film felt entirely too familiar and formulaic.
While Saturday Night Live has produced some of America’s best comedic talents over the past few decades, its track record on film is hardly as impressive. Most films based on SNL sketches have done poorly, with a few rare exceptions like The Blues Brothers and the Wayne’s World films. This week, Will Forte’s bumbling action hero, MacGruber, finds himself thrust into an international espionage comedy on the big screen, and it’s up to him to save the world from the dastardly Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer) and his nuclear warhead. So far, only a handful of critics have chimed in, but most of them have been pleasantly surprised by what they felt was a relatively effective and enjoyable sendup of 80s action movies. Continue to check back as more reviews roll in. (Also, check this week’s Total Recall to see a ranked list of films based on SNL sketches.)
Also opening this week in limited release: