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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have been bouncing around for weeks in anticipation of this movie. As
a huge fan of the first two movies, I was sure this one would not
disappoint. But, oh, how wrong I was! While not as bad as many a film
out there, this installment is yet a sad shadow of its series.
And it tries, it really did try. To its credit, there were several very clever scenes. The typical Snow White's gift with animals takes an awesome turn, and I can guarantee that you will never laugh harder at a death scene than the one of this movie. The animation? Top-notch.
I just guess effort doesn't always beat out sheer inspiration. A film with a few moments does not win against a good, simple movie.
The desire to produce a film merely ended up as a plot device to get Shrek and Fiona back to their beloved swamp. A long, boring plot device. With the passing of King Harold, Shrek and Fiona are heirs to the throne of Far, Far Away. Unfortunately, that does not interest them, so Shrek goes on a journey to bring back the next guy, a young Arthur "Artie" Pendragon. Heck, why not? Everyone loves a good Camelot infusion, and Artie is as flawed and as likable as you could want. Unfortunately, he is only one character in a cheesy madhouse of minor characters and cameos. In the effort to get everyone their screen time, that whole plot gets lost in the background.
Which normally wouldn't be a problem. After all, the original movie did not have the most complex of plots. What it had was a few incredible characters. The second movie added a few more, but still kept it delightfully manageable. This time, it seemed that the powers that be assumed we already knew everything about Shrek, Donkey, Puss, and the rest of the bunch that we really didn't need to see them. Hey, let's bring in one more characters for the audience, but refuse to give them time to get to know them! Poor, pathetic lack of character development.
So back to the plot. The few times that came around, it was pretty much a tacky, forced attempt to create some pseudo father/son relationship between Shrek and Artie. Good intentions, but no cigar. Maybe if we had more time... But we don't, so let's just wrap it up with a few corny lines about understanding and rising to the occasion. Yeah, we got that the first time around, and without any of the verbal commentary.
On top of that, this film misses that inexplicable spark of the first two installments. I'm sorry, but I just didn't feel it. Just as a lukewarm attempt of continuing the series and aiming at a five-year old audience.
Sorry. Not my favorite of the series by any means, leaving me to wonder how a sequel to films of such genius as "Shrek" and "Shrek 2" could make something so average?
A movie too many, a laugh too few. This installment of Shrek is so
unlike the first two in terms of energy and humor that its almost like
one of those cheesy made-for-TV or straight-to-video versions that the
studios make just to cash in on the popularity of a title.
The movie slogs through a story about Shrek and Fiona having to replace the deceased frog king unless they can find another heir. Shrek's time at the "high school" is so tortured that you can almost smell the coffee the writers had to brew to get through the brainstorming sessions.
Not good, I'm sorry to say. The first two were so clever that this ends up seeming...well...crappy by comparison.
Part of success is knowing when to stop.
The movie did not really hold the attention of my two younger kids.
Even for me, the funny experience of watching both Shrek 1 and 2 was
not really very evident with this installment. I remember in Shrek 2, I
was laughing out loud with each passing pop culture reference and
innuendo being bantered around. However, that was not so here.
I was not too amused with the Disney princesses characters. Shrek's "baby nightmare scene" was well-executed. Justin Timberlake did well in voicing his "grovelling at Merlin's feet" scene. Overall, this movie was not that bad, but it needed to be much better to be worthy to stand on the same level as the first two Shrek films.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm a huge fan of the first Shrek and the second one also exceeded my expectations. Both of those movies had an meaningful and multidimensional plot. They also shared clever humor and for the most part unpredictable. I was extremely excited for the the third movie and I have to unfortunately say I was totally disappointed! The whole time I was waiting for it to start, like trying to convince myself, "ok, any second now it will pick up" - but it never did. The plot is so thin and unexciting - Prince Charming wants to takeover the throne while Shrek wants to get a young (King) Arthur to replace him as next in line to the throne. You never really feel any interest in what is happening or what will happen to the characters because you know exactly whats going to happen. Basically I spent the movie forcing myself to laugh because, hey, I was watching a Shrek movie. I know this review will not stop anyone who loved the previous movies from going to the third, but I just want to warn that its nothing to rush to or stand in line for.
I couldn't wait to see Shrek the Third, especially since I have such a
great love for the second Shrek, I'm just in love with Puss in Boots.
But, the trailer looked great and the stories have worked so far, my
mom and I saw the premier show today and while the movie has great
laughs, there seemed to be something lacking in the Shrek world. I
think the characters didn't seem to click as well as they did in the
first two. Shrek the Third has the return of the whole cast, including
the new heir to the thrown, Arthur.
Shrek and Fiona have a problem, Fiona's father, the frog King of Far Far Away, has passed away and now it's up to Shrek to take the crown. But Shrek is too scared to step up and looks to the next man in line, well, actually a teenage, Arthur. Shrek, Puss, and Donkey go to find Artie, but there is one more problem going on, Prince Charming wants his kingdom of Far Far Away back like it was promised to him and he will go through anything to get it back. Fionna and the other princesses are kidnapped while Shrek's life is in danger and they must all pull together to save him in time for Arthur to take over the kingdom.
Shrek the Third has great jokes, terrific animation, and lovable characters, especially the character, Merlin, he was just a terrific spoof. But the characters seemed to be lacking the same chemistry as they did in the first two films. I would recommend Shrek the Third, it's a good movie for the family and for a summer movie, because I do guarantee a fun time. I don't know if everyone will agree, but so far I know a few people know that there is something lacking from the world of Shrek.
I had high expectations for this movie. When I saw Shrek 2, I was
pleasantly surprised. Few sequels are as good as the original, but
Shrek 2 was.
Shrek the third did not continue this trend. While there were sill plenty of funny moments, it was nowhere near as amusing or original as the first two. They could have done so much more with this movie if they had tried. At the end, I felt sort of cheated.
However, Shek the third isn't a bad movie in itself, only when compared to the others. I would still recommend going to see it. Unlike most, I liked Artie's character, even if he did talk too much (I'm not even a Justin Timberlake fan).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The phenomenal success of the Shrek franchise - particularly "Shrek 2"
- has prompted Dreamworks Animation to yet again squeeze out a story of
an erstwhile happily ended tale and return to the screen once again
with "Shrek the Third", which brings back most of the original cast,
and then some, for another round of jabs at fairy tales and pop
The Kingdom of Far Far Away is faced with another dilemma: King Harold (John Cleese) has just died and next in line to the throne is Shrek (Mike Myers), who doesn't want to have anything to do with ruling a kingdom. So he goes to search for Artie (Justin Timberlake), Fiona's cousin and the third in line to the throne, in Worcestershire (no kidding), a medieval high school where all students seem to have jumped out of a Hollywood teen flick. Meanwhile, Fiona is pregnant with Shrek as a reluctant father; and Prince Charming teams up with villains from various fairy tales in an effort to take over the kingdom.
While, yes, it's considerably better than "Happily N'Ever After", it's hard to define the movie as anything more than a disappointing mediocrity. It had the chance to be just as good as its predecessor, yet except for a few jokes, it doesn't generate consistent amusement or cleverness when it comes to delivering the laughs. Even with new characters that include Snow White (Amy Poehler), Cinderella (Amy Sedaris), Sleeping Beauty (Cheri Oteri), and Rapunzel (Maya Rudolph) voiced by Saturday Night Live comedians, the film seems to have lost all sense of wit and humor that has made its first two predecessors a fun experience.
As for the material itself, the narrative doesn't seem to have any real motivation or progression. It's merely stretching a premise into an hour-and-a-half end product that merely panders to the filmmakers' whims of extending a lucrative franchise that may be starting to run on fumes. It was easy to ride with these characters in the first film because the animated genre is incredibly trampled with clichés. But a joke can only be said so much before it starts to wear out. Here, directors Chris Miller and Raman Hui fail to give the characters any quality that would evoke sympathy, considering that the story falls flat and perfunctory.
"Shrek the Third" might still appeal to younger audiences, but that's about it as far as recommendations go. Save for sporadic chuckles, the audience I watched it with were quiet throughout the film. It feels hastily assembled and thrown together slapdash, without any attention to what made the first two work, and Dreamworks should get a clue that the ogre is starting to overstay his welcome.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It would be safe to say that the third time is definitely NOT the charm
when it comes to the "Shrek" series, since "Shrek the Third" lacks
virtually all the imaginativeness, wit and magic that made the previous
two installments such tremendous fun for young and old viewers alike.
In this latest go-round, the writers have clearly run out of comical
inspiration, leaving us with a humorless farrago of labored jokes and
sappy life-lessons (mainly about the joys of prospective fatherhood and
the importance of being willing to take a chance in life) guaranteed to
please no target audience or age group whatsoever.
In this edition, Shrek's father-in-law, the frog king of the realm of Far Far Away, bequeaths his crown to Shrek on his deathbed unless the reluctant ogre can find a distant heir (the young Arthur) to take his place. Shrek, filled with doubts about his own ability to rule the kingdom, heads off with his faithful companions, Donkey and Puss In Boots, to find the boy and bring him back with them to the castle where he will assume his rightful place on the throne. Meanwhile, the vain, conniving Prince Charming has decided to enlist the aid of all the villains of the kingdom to mount a coup so that he can proclaim himself ruler of the land.
As I reckon them, there are about five hearty laughs in "Shrek the Third," and at least four of them come in the opening scene of the film (a very funny parody of third-rate dinner theater). Unfortunately, it's all pretty much downhill from there, as one ostensibly comic line after another crashes and burns, leaving us with little but the gorgeous backdrops and seamless animation to hold our attention. Regarding the latter point, it must be stated that movie animators have certainly come a long way in perfecting the facial expressions of their characters, but what is the point of such a technological advancement if it is placed in the service of as dismal a script as Andrew Adams, Howard Gould, Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman, J. David Stern, David N. Weiss, and Jon Zack have concocted here? Somehow, you know you're in trouble when no fewer than seven writers have a hand in a screenplay, but couldn't at least one of them have come up with a funny joke or two while they were hammering it all out? Moreover, the story itself is dull and plodding and even the "Shrek" trademark of piling on clever pop culture references falls flat in this instance (and having Medieval teenagers blabbing away in already-dated Valley Girl lingo just doesn't cut it).
Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas still provide yeoman service as the voices of Donkey and Puss In Boots, respectively, but even they can't keep the whole enterprise from feeling as if blockbuster rigor mortis has finally set in. Unlike the two earlier films in the series, "Shrek the Third" feels less the product of a magic spell than of a divine curse.
Shrek The Third is another entertaining romp through the erstwhile
Hollywood of Far Far Away with a few laughs for adults and a few more
for kids. Like all of the films in this series, it has a big and good
heart, and occasionally pays homage to or pokes fun at modern films.
Unlike the previous films, however, Shrek III is not a source of
non-stop hilarity, and contains a little more thematic content.
Shrek finds himself inheriting his father-in-law's crown and learns that Fiona is pregnant. Predictably, both of these eventualities play pretty dissonantly on the big green guy's insecurities, and he goes a-questing to locate the next-in-line of succession - a young, dejected, high school kid. Meanwhile, charming has developed even more of an attitude problem, and is putting together a whole battalion of people with grudges.
One of the themes of the first two Shrek films was 'don't judge a book by its cover'. Shrek III takes the theme a little farther and puts a different spin on it. The lesson learned here is "don't judge yourself superficially." And it works. My rating of six is based solely on the entertainment value of the film. This film is not quite as well-paced and well-directed as the previous two films, and Charming is simply not the heavy-weight heavy that his mom was. Nevertheless, it's still worth a look, and still carries positive messages entertainingly.
Paul McCartney is a great songwriter. Let me just get that out of the
way. But he isn't perfect. Take for example the song, "Live and Let
Die", a song he wrote in the '70s for a Bond movie of the same name.
The song is used briefly in Dreamworks' latest outing for everyone's
favorite Scots ogre. In the song he actually wrote this line: "But if
in this ever changing world in which we live in". "In which we live
in"? Was he kidding? A great talent, but that is some lazy songwriting.
I figure he was either exhausted, or under contract, as opposed to
And that's the problem with this entire movie. The writing is simply not up to par. The story is loaded down with so many different elements that it is impossible to develop any of them. You can almost see the writers thinking, "Okay, now we've got a bunch of stuff for Shrek, Donkey, and Puss to do. Let's put in some stuff for Fiona and Lillian here..." The result is that there's a script, but no real story. And the dialog with some exceptions, is full of the clichés they so happily lampooned in earlier Shreks. The result comes across as a 3rd or 4th draft.
Andrew Adamson directed the previous two Shreks and has one of the writing credits here, but he did not direct it. I guess the franchise is so important now that it must be handled by two directors, neither of whom has Adamson's knack for timing. At various points in the evening, the pace was surprisingly ponderous.
It's not unpleasant, as movies go. It's just disappointing when such an average film continues a series of such good ones.
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