Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

"Shrek the Third" was fun, but not as good as the prior two movies. It lacked the freshness of the orginal, or the extensive satire of the second. The rather straightforward plot has been mentioned in numerous reviews: King Harold the Frog dies (and I have to admire the fact that the term "croaked" was NOT used--), designating Shrek his successor. Shrek is very adverse to acquiring any sort of additional responsibility, especially since his efforts as "acting king" during Harold's illness have been met with disaster. Instead, Shrek goes in search of young Arthur (Justin Timberlake), the next closest heir after Fiona. Meanwhile, the frustrated Prince Charming rallies the Kingdom's villains to stage a coup. ("You! Frumpypigskin--!" "That's Rumplestiltskin!" "Whatever! Where's the first born child you were promised?")

While the plot is mostly straightforward, there are some oddball bits that don't make much sense. For example, at King Harold's funeral, why is the soundtrack "Live and Let Die"? (Unless it is an oblique reference to the demise of John Cleese's recurring role in the James Bond franchise?)

The quest to bring Arthur back to Far, Far Away seems low risk with little at stake besides some rather heavy handed efforts to establish a mentoring relationship between Shrek and Arthur. Mr. Merlyn (voiced by Eric Idle) isn't all that funny and serves mainly as a convenient plot device. One wonders why the supposedly mercenary Puss in Boots hangs around, since his role is pretty much reduced to being second banana to Donkey.

Back home, Fiona and Queen Lillian lead a jailbreak, but they and the other captive princesses don't really get to do much before being surrounded and dragooned into Charming's over-the-top revenge setpiece.

I don't know--it just lacked spark. And this franchise also seems to have "jumped the shark" most particularly since today's paper announced that not only will there be more "Shrek" movies (number 4 already in development with core cast signed on) but that there will also be a half-hour made for TV "holiday special." Groan! Ogre babies are cute (and I'm surprised I haven't seen dolls--"Skunk Cabbage Patch" anyone?) but they could well be to the "Shrek" franchise what Ewoks were to "Star Wars."

Whether we bother with any more of these will depend upon reviews.
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