Shrek the Third

The first Shrek movie was a revelation, a perfect blend of pop culture satire and moving story. The second altered the mix more to favor satire and the results weren’t as impressive.

Shrek the Third throttles down the references, which is good. Unfortunately, the story they coughed up is so uninspired you almost miss the stupid jokes. Another critic mentioned that this installment has an air of finality to it, like they were thinking this is the last one. I hope so. There isn’t much left in this franchise.

Shrek (Mike Myers) and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) are filling in for the ailing king of Far Far Away, and Shrek, as usual, misses his swamp. When the king (John Cleese) dies, dubbing his son-in-law as his successor, the ogre goes off with Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) to find the next guy in line, a cousin named Arthur.  Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) uses this crisis of succession to seize the throne with the help of every fairy tale villain ever known.

The voices are good. The animation is spectacular, although as I pointed out in my review of the second film, there is a danger of becoming too photorealistic and losing the spirit of wackiness that we all love in animation. Shrek the Third suffers from the same inertia that Two did. There are times when it just doesn’t move.

Overall though I’m recommending it. There were just enough gags to hold my interest.

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