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Overall Rating

Awesome: 11.11%
Worth A Look31.94%
Average: 20.83%
Pretty Bad: 30.56%
Total Crap: 5.56%

7 reviews, 30 user ratings

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Shrek the Third
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by William Goss

"Ogre and Ogre and Ogre Again"
3 stars

Do the math. Somewhere between $484 million worldwide in 2001 and $920 million worldwide in 2004, it became quite apparent that DreamWorks couldn’t afford to pass up a third 'Shrek' offering, and thus, here we are, with everyone’s favorite ogre ready to take over just about every screen that Spidey isn’t still swinging on. Screen counts and massive profits aside, what matters to most moviegoers is how 'Shrek the Third' measures up to its hilarious predecessors, and while it may look like a 'Shrek' and may sound like a 'Shrek,' it’s barely enough of one to pass muster.

Between the unexpected pregnancy of Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and the inevitable croaking of King Harold (John Cleese), Shrek (Mike Myers) finds himself fleeing Far Far Away to pass the buck – or rather, the crown – to the only remaining heir, teenage Artie (a whiny Justin Timberlake). Meanwhile, fed up with dinner theater performances depicting his own downfall, Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) rounds up all the villains he can for a takeover of the throne.

With Andrew Adamson now helming the Chronicles of Narnia franchise, the director’s chair is co-filled by Chris Miller and Raman Hui, and their previous experience with the series (the former a story artist, the latter a supervising animator) ensures that Shrek the Third is up to par visually, possibly even exceeding its predecessors.

However, between a team of four writers and an ensemble that does little to convince us that they’re in it for anything more than an easy paycheck, that initial spark that made the first two films so appealing appears to be extinguished. So the tale of King Arthur isn’t quite fairy tale fare, and the Prince Charming plot bears an unfortunate resemblance to that of January’s atrocious Happily N’Ever After, but it isn’t like one expects them to outdo the originality and spark of the first two films. Alas, the greater problem is, it often seems that the gang aren’t even trying to simply match it this time around.

Gone are the majority of pop culture references that made them so immediately amusing, even if swiftly dated, and few new gags fill their place. There are enough laughs in the first hour or so to merit a watch, but the few truly inspired moments – such as when the Gingerbread Man has his life flash before his eyes – serve to show just how fast, funny, and unexpected everything else should be. Instead, when our ogre says three words regarding the behavior of babies, you can bet it’s “poop” that gets repeated the most and the loudest. When Shrek, accompanied by Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), arrives at Worcestershire High to pick up Artie, ye olde teen slang certainly earns some chuckles, but then we’re whisked back to Far Far Away, where the joke still remains that it’s just like Beverly Hills. Then comes the last reel, and you can practically taste the cold coffee as the writers gave up on their brainstorming session and instead opted to recycle the previous climaxes with twice the pop montages, about half the laughs, and one glaring life lesson in the form of a momentum-stalling monologue.

In the end, it's most fitting that the only word Shrek doesn't employ when trying to relate to Artie in a clumsy string of street slang is "fresh," because that's the first thing this series was and just about the last thing this entry is. The first two 'Shrek's were fluffy and disposable, but they worked well enough to keep for longer than they had any right to. In this case, 'Shrek the Third' doesn’t even wait until the lights come up to start growing stale. It has its moments, to be sure, but it rings hollow and calculated before the end credits even roll, because, math be damned, all it ever seems to come down to is ones, zeroes, and dollar signs. Man, I guess it really isn’t easy being green.

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originally posted: 05/18/07 12:00:00
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User Comments

11/18/14 Mario is the Best My least favourite Shrek film. But I liked it. 4 stars
8/29/12 roscoe fine, but seies has gone to the well far too often. nothing fresh 3 stars
8/22/09 Zach This movie isn't boring. It is another good film in the series. 4 stars
7/11/09 Jeff Wilder Shrek. Classic. Shrek 2. Great. Shrek Third where it devolves into just another franchise 2 stars
9/10/08 David Cohen The series is getting tiresome 3 stars
2/08/08 Anthony Feor Recycled formula beginning to dry out 3 stars
1/05/08 Ellen Glaringly unfunny, dull and dissapointing. 2 stars
11/28/07 Matt Slightly stale but on the whole it's fun. Shrek 4 will be one too many, though. 4 stars
10/29/07 Mike R. love the shrek movies they should continue making them especially for the kids 5 stars
9/08/07 Alice What happend? I loved the other 2! VERY boring! 1 stars
7/04/07 PamE Cute but enjoyed the 2nd way better 3 stars
7/02/07 Grace This movie was VERY funny, and I recomend you see it! 5 stars
6/24/07 Joleen Very, very BAD. don't waste your money, Not even to rent it. 1 stars
6/17/07 Tiffany Losco funny, kids loved it. 5 stars
5/31/07 Jim Brandt I thought the magic was gone, but the kids had smiles the whole time... 3 stars
5/29/07 bullit16 It's not BAD, really, it's just ... not very funny. 3 stars
5/28/07 sprite The first and second was better. 3 stars
5/28/07 Jason it was funny but the second one still out beats it 5 stars
5/27/07 Darkstar The best part was when the fire alarm went off and I got to leave. 2 stars
5/26/07 Deb Very cute. The kids loved it! 5 stars
5/26/07 Quigley Probably the least disappointing of the three mega-blockbusters this month. Very funny 4 stars
5/24/07 Ole Man Bourbon Surprisingly entertaining 4 stars
5/22/07 Blood Red Roy King died, his wife is Queen, King Shrek unneeded. FFA is a land of sexist assholes. 3 stars
5/22/07 Luisa kinda boring...but some parts are very funny... 3 stars
5/22/07 Dark Enchantress i thought it was good...but not better than the second one 5 stars
5/22/07 Dave very funny 5 stars
5/21/07 Austin Wertman hilarious 5 stars
5/21/07 John Not as funny as the first two, and horrible plotlines 2 stars
5/19/07 Mike bring caffeine pills or you will be asleep ... BORING. Very DISAPPOINTING!!! 1 stars
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  18-May-2007 (PG)
  DVD: 13-Nov-2007



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