Published on May 24th, 2007 | by Erich Becker0
Review: Shrek the Third
If the first two big sequels of the summer movie season are any indication, things are not looking good for the latest entries in the Pirates, Die Hard, and Rush Hour franchises as both Spider-Man 3 and Shrek the Third have disappointed with substance but taken the box office crowns each and every week. Things may look up though, for first entries into many franchises like the Michael Bay-directed Transformers and The Simpsons Movie, but with a nosedive in quality here in the first month of the season, one can only hope reprieve is at hand for us all.
Shrek the Third is just not a funny movie; it’s an animated comedy about an ogre who doesn’t want to be king and sets out to find the next heir, thereby shunning his job on to a young boy, Arthur (Justin Timberlake). Although after rolling in the allies during the COPS sequence in Shrek 2, there were high hopes that Mike Meyers and company would be able to top themselves in every respect, unfortunately this did not happen, so instead of another Wayne’s World, we’re left with
The entire cast returns to reprise their voice rolls this time around which finds the aforementioned Shrek (Mike Meyers) seeking out Arthur to become rightful king of Far Far Away. Dastardly Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) has other plans as he organizes all the fairy tale villains to siege the kingdom and crown himself king after the death of Princess Fiona’s (Cameron Diaz) father.
Unlike the second film, the pop-culture jokes have been toned way back, with only a few shout-outs to Foot Locker and other small chains instead of the massively funny montage scene from the second film. Even the slapstick humor that set up the series in the original Shrek has been toned back, there’s very little social commentary, all in all it feels as though the series has lost that spunk, that fire that made it so popular with kids and adults alike in its previous two installments.
Sure, there are still a few moments where you’ll find yourself laughing, the Gingerbread Man’s life flashing before his eyes is priceless, but the fairy tale characters that played such an important role lampooning themselves and the Disney-treatment they’ve gotten over the last 60 years is sadly missing from this installment in the series.
So yet another third installment and yet another disappointment, it’s almost feeling like studios should go right to number four after two as three just might be a tad unlucky. Even for true fans of the series, Shrek the Third comes out smelling like an un-showered ogre.