Shrek The Third
Release date: May 18, 2007
Directors: Chris Miller, Raman Hui
Screenplay by: Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman, Chris Miller, Aron Warner
Cast: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle, Justin Timberlake
Shrek The Third doesn’t start with good news, as King Harold (Cleese) croaked and Shrek (Myers) is first in line to succeed him as the King of Far Far Away. But Shrek isn’t thrilled with the idea of being a King, so he goes along with Donkey (Murphy) and Puss (Banderas) in search of Arthur (Timberlake), the only person other than Shrek who is elegible for the throne. Just before Shrek leaves in search of Arthur, Fiona (Diaz) tells him that he will be a father, another prospect that scares him despite saying the opposite to his wife.
Meanwhile, Prince Charming (Everett) is plotting to avenge his mother. He can’t do it alone, so he meets all the fairy tale villains at a bar and persuades them to fight for their “happily ever after” moment and help him take over Far Far Away to become the King and kill off Shrek once and for all.
While there are some good and funny moments in Shrek The Third, the magic and humor that made Shrek very popular isn’t present much in the third film, even if it’s the most visually impressive in the Shrek franchise.
Antonio Banderas managed to keep his character shining well, but Eddie Murphy wasn’t as great as in the previous two films. However, among the main characters, Puss and Donkey — my favorite characters — are easily the best by default. But I have to admit that the funniest moments actually came from minor characters such as Captain Hook (Ian McShane), Gingerbread Man (Conrad Vernon), Pinocchio (Cody Cameron), Cinderella (Amy Sedaris), Doris (Larry King) and Snow White (Amy Poehler). Sedaris as Cinderella was pretty funny here. If one day somebody in Hollywood decides to do another animated version of the Cinderella story, Sedaris could be a valid choice as the main character.
The first film balanced a great storyline with fairy tale related humor. Shrek 2 used pop culture references for most of its humor, introduced new characters, and managed to tell a nice story concerning Shrek and Fiona’s relationship while still feeling fresh. Shrek The Third lacked a solid storyline, the jokes weren’t as witty as before given that more pop culture potshots were overused — along with humorless fart jokes. The storyline of Shrek and Fiona about to become parents wasn’t well explored due to the introduction of a new character. Justin Timberlake’s character was not only very dull, but he also comes across as whiny and annoying most of the time he is present and drags the film down.
Overall, Shrek The Third isn’t a bad film. But it doesn’t feel fresh or interesting as the previous films did, despite having some good moments and boasting better animation details.