Shrek The Third

Shrek The Third


Reviewed by: Tony Sullivan

With the King (John Cleese) on his deathbed, Shrek (Mike Myers) is set to inherit the crown. But the green ogre and wife, Fiona (Cameron Diaz), dream of a much less complicated life back in the swamp. The King tells Shrek that there is another heir to the throne and before you can say Rumplestiltskin, Shrek and the boys, Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss (Antonio Banderas), are off like a shot from a bow in search of further adventure, leaving the ladies in charge of Far, Far Away land.

Their target turns out to be a young lad named Arthur who has some serious self-esteem issues. En route our heroes encounter a somewhat daffy Merlin (Eric Idle), whose main contribution is to switch the personalities of Puss and Donkey.

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Meanwhile, the scheming Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) has recruited evil fairy tale characters and staged a coup to get back the crown he believes to be his.

Can Shrek, Arthur, Puss and Donkey save the day and restore the Kingdom? Or will the nefarious Prince rid himself of the ogre once and for all?

The script, like Shrek, is flabby and going to seed. Gone are the ogre's acerbic wit and bad temper - apparently he has become domesticated by married life. One might have thought this would be the launch pad for Shrek – Til Death Us Do Part, but our green friend seems fairly content with his fate.

Even the ogre's once-garrulous sidekick, the Eddie Murphy voiced Donkey, seems curiously muted this time around. It's left to Antonio Banderas' suave Puss to provide all the best moments.

Arthur, voiced by Justin Timberlake, does the petulant teen-thing well, but like most of the species, becomes rather tiresome quickly. Idle's addle-brained Merlin has a couple of moments, but the character seems something of a throwaway and, sorry Python fans, Cleese and Idle do not get to share a scene. Likewise the baddies, culled from all the bad folk in fairytale land, are an oddly ineffectual bunch, who do not seem to pose much of a threat to anybody.

Some of the best Shrek moments come from an astute choice of songs, notably Smash Mouth's All Star over the opening credits and improvised karaoke from the first instalment. By number three, we get snippets of Live and Let Die in a funeral scene that just doesn't work.

The film is a genial enough way to spend 92 minutes. Brandon, the five-year-old I press-ganged for the screening, sat rapt by proceedings, stirring only to raid popcorn from a pontoon-sized container. I would have suggested a re-write by someone with a bit more angst. Brandon would rather have seen Spider-Man 3, but was content, and maybe that should be enough.

Reviewed on: 25 May 2007
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Is the third time a charm for Mike Myers' green ogre?
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Read more Shrek The Third reviews:

Paul Griffiths ***
Jennie Kermode **1/2

Director: Chris Miller, Raman Hui

Writer: Andrew Adamson, Howard Gould, Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman, William Steig, J. David Stem, David N. Weiss, Jon Zack

Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle, Justin Timberlake, Susan Blakeslee, Cody Cameron

Year: 2007

Runtime: 92 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US


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