Shrek the Third

‘Shrek The Third’ still works well enough as a fat green slab of family entertainment, but it’s much too flabby to clear the high bar set by its predecessors.


Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz

When we pick up the story of the kingdom of Far Far Away, King Harold (John Cleese) is on his death-bed and Shrek (Mike Myers) is the next in line for the throne. Trouble is, Shrek doesn’t want the job – he hates the clothes, he hates the ceremony and he hates the attention. All he wants to do is settle down in a swamp with Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and enjoy married life. When King Harold tells Shrek there is another heir in Fiona’s cousin Arthur (Justin Timberlake), Shrek, Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) set sail to bring him back. Just before they go, Fiona reveals she is pregnant and Shrek is less than impressed.

Arthur (or ‘Artie’), as it turns out, does not fit the image of a ruler. He’s a total loser, picked on by the geekiest of geeks at his high school, so he jumps at the chance to be the next king of Far Far Away. But his enthusiasm will be short lived.

While this is happening, the evil Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) is cooking up a scheme to usurp the throne. He persuades all the jilted fairytale characters – witches, Captain Hook, an Ugly Stepsister, etc – to rise up and seize the castle while Shrek is away and cannot defend it. Who will win out and become the new king?

‘Shrek The Third’ is far and away the weakest instalment in this blockbuster animated trilogy. It did not need to be; if the scriptwriters had spent more time fleshing out the story instead of cramming in pop-culture references and product endorsements (Ye Olde Footlocker), it could have been on par with its predecessors.

So what exactly is wrong with the script? Well, this is the first ‘Shrek’ movie to talk down to its audience. It feels the need to explain its jokes, and it relies on gimmicks and physical humour – farting, vomiting, violence – rather than clever dialogue to draw its laughs. It’s true that the Shrek films have always used a lot of physical comedy, but this time around it just seems crass. Worst of all, perhaps, the film does not just let its themes seep in but forces them on the viewer in wordy, expository monologues.

‘Shrek The Third’ still works well enough as a fat green slab of family entertainment, but it’s much too flabby to clear the high bar set by its predecessors.

Rating :
Reviewer : Mark Bennett