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Sunday, 9 October 2016

Weekend TV Movie Review: Shrek The Third (2007), BBC1

Shrek The Third
Cast: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Rupert Everett, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Julie Andrews, Justin Timberlake 
Genre: Computer-Animated Fantasy Comedy
Worldwide Lifetime Gross: $799 million

Plot: When King Harold suddenly croaks, Shrek (Mike Myers) learns he will have to rule the land of Far, Far Away, unless he can find a suitable heir to the throne. The most promising candidate is Princess Fiona's cousin, Artie (Justin Timberlake): a teenage slacker in a medieval high school. Shrek and his trusted companions, Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas), set out to bring Artie back, but their mission is a bigger challenge than they expected.

'Medi-Ogre Third Outing'

In Shrek 3, Shrek's father-in-law, the frog king, bequeaths his crown to Shrek on his deathbed, unless the ogre can find an heir (in the young Arthur) to take his place. So Shrek, Donkey, Puss in Boots go to find the boy and to bring him back to the castle. 

The third Shrek film just reeks of an obligatory sequel and is so profoundly disappointing. 

The first 2 movies had crude, though not overly crude humour and jokes and were entertaining, imaginative and witty. But with this one, it was just mind-numbingly boring and stagnant, lacking the punch and enthusiasm of Shrek 1 and 2 and most of that humour was lost in this offering. The previous jokes and humour were recycled for Shrek 3, which in itself was overall flat: the only amusing scene was when Donkey and Puss In Boots switched bodies. Other than that, nada. It was so uninspired. There are no new ideas introduced, no funny, laugh out loud moments or scenes. I think the biggest mistake was when the creators/writers decided to replace the pop culture and general humour of the first 2 movies with humour and jokes and riffs from fairy-tales. Most of which people like myself won't get, because we don't read those fairy-tales. 

They also massively downgraded Donkey, of whom is one of my favourite characters, by giving Eddie Murphy less funny material to play around with and make Puss-In-Boots's Antonio Banderas, who is an enjoyable addition to the cast, more of a mainstay. John Cleese and Eric Idle of Monty Python, along with Rupert Everett and the great Julie Andrews have voice-over roles in this movie and they did all right. 

Dreamworks found a formula with Kung Fu Panda and though the second outing wasn't as well received as the other movies, it was still overly decent. I also find the characters in Kung Fu Panda much more interesting than in Shrek, and that is just me solely. But here with Shrek, it seems as though Dreamworks are scrapping the barrel with the franchise by milking it to death. Shrek has hit a dead end - unless they go back to the drawing board of the first two films and make it funnier and add in more pop culture based jokes. Which cannot be said for Shrek the Third. Character development, but for say Puss-In-Boots, was non-existent. Adding Justin Timberlake to the mix didn't do wonders, and his character was utterly bland too. The worst character for me though was Pinocchio, but mainly because I couldn't stand his shrieking voice that annoyed the heck out of me. 

It's just further proof that for all of the star voice acting, high-quality visuals and special effects, that means virtually nothing if you don't have an interesting story to go with it. And this movie is pretty much what I'm talking about. It's just a tired sequel. 

By the time the end credits rolled, I was like, ''what was that?''. To say I was slightly disappointed is an understatement because this was a massive disappointment.... in more ways than one. 

But the Orge babies were a cute addition. 

Final Verdict

Hate to say this but the third Shrek is a steaming pile of dreck: mostly unfunny- but for the scene with Donkey and Puss in Boots switching bodies -, tired, laborious, all the magical and interesting moments of the previous movies were gone. They say third time's a charm.... not this movie, sadly. 

Hoping Dreamworks do far better with the fourth movie, otherwise, they can kiss this franchise goodbye. 


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