Entries Comments

Movie Review: Shrek the Third

Shrek the Third
Directed by Chris Miller and Raman Hui
Written by Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman, Jon Zack, J. David Stern, David N. Weiss from a story by Andrew Adamson

I don’t know what to say about this series anymore.  This is more of the same with some sort of different story, and whether you give a damn or not may depend on your Shrek fanaticism.  Shrek the Third has the same tone as the other two films that I’ve always found hard to swallow: one minute being a subversive fairy tale, cracking jokes at the expense of the classic childhood stories and characters, then actually trying to be sincere the next minute.

And that “subversive” tone always means that every character is some sort of buffoon.  They take that one character trait and run with it.  Sleeping Beauty (Cheri Oteri) must be a narcoleptic.  Cinderella (Amy Sedaris) is a brainwashed schizo.  Snow White (Amy Poehler) is insufferably vain.  Rapunzel (Maya Rudolph) wears hair extensions.  And so on.  These movies write themselves.  Add healthy doses of poo humor and you’re well on your way to writing a Shrek flick.

In Shrek the Third, the frog king, King Harold (John Cleese), is dying.  The next heir to the throne is Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and Shrek (Mike Myers).  Shrek doesn’t want the job, and Harold mentions that there’s another heir, none other than Arthur Pendragon (Justin Timberlake) himself.  Off on a journey again, Shrek along with Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) must find the boy who would be king.

But Shrek has other worries.  Fiona is pregnant and he doesn’t think he’d make a great father.  And it seems that Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) is still a bit peeved about not receiving the throne, he’s been doing a lot of thankless dinner theater, so he teams up with a lot of fairy tale losers like Captain Hook (Ian McShane) and others to try to win the kingdom from its rightful owners.

Eventually, Fiona teams with the aforementioned fairy tale princesses, plus the ugly stepsister Doris (Larry King), and mom Queen Lillian (Julie Andrews) in order to save Shrek and bring Arthur to the throne.

I laughed once in this entire feature, mildly chuckled a couple of other times.  Like I said, I just can’t get with these films’ vibe.  I’d like a little more layers to the comedy, maybe something I can’t predict.  There’s a scene with Merlin (Eric Idle) in the film that personifies this series.  The jokes are tired.  Without a doubt, I could write a Shrek film tomorrow.  Give me the money.

And then, don’t get me started on the annoying Pinocchio (Cody Cameron) and Gingerbread Man (Conrad Vernon) characters.  If there were characters who didn’t need any limelight, it’s them.

So look, Shrek fans are going to see this no matter how much I argue that it sucks.  You can’t help what you laugh at as much as I can’t help what I don’t laugh at.  We will always have to disagree on this.  I think this series is lame, you guys think it’s the cutting edge.  I cannot wait for Ratatouille to blow this out of the water.  Hell, I think Surf’s Up is going to be wittier than this.

Follows: Shrek 2 


Comment from KW
Time: May 18, 2007, 9:53 am

What’s weird to me is that I have seen a lot of reviews of this third entry to the Shrek series saying the same stuff you are: it’s derivative of other films, it’s unoriginal, it’s flat, it’s crude, it’s not even trying anymore….

…and I thought that about the second one. What the first one had going for it was that smart-ass tone, playfully skewering so many fairy tale traditions. It was sort of the first thing to come along like that. But the minute I saw “fart bubbles” in the slime bath at the beginning of the second one…I knew I was in for some of the least original and least funny stuff I’d ever seen.

Comment from The Projectionist
Time: May 18, 2007, 11:24 am

Yeah, I didn’t get the love of Shrek 2 either. I think sometimes a vibe is enough. Movie audiences are frighteningly undemanding considering the price they have to pay to watch movies.

Write a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.