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Shrek the Third: Pretty Good... For a Sequel

I'd actually expected really good things from Shrek the Third, but it turns out this is a case of the funniest bits being in the trailer. Sure, the movie succeeds in the way all Shrek movies do: there's plenty of kid humor (physical gags, farts, etc.) and adult humor (cultural references, puns galore, songs we recognize) all played out with colorful animated fairy tale characters. In this sense, Shrek the Third is perfectly satisfying as a family movie everyone can enjoy. But is it as good as the first Shrek movie was? Nah.

At the movie's start, Shrek and Fiona are filling in for the ailing king of Far, Far Away with the help of Puss in Boots, Donkey and Donkey's brood of half-donkeys/half-dragons. Shrek and Fiona find the job of running a kingdom not to their liking, so when the king reveals that there is another heir to the throne, Arthur (or Artie as the bullies at his high school know him), Shrek sets off to make Artie the new king. In the meantime, Prince Charming is still determined to be king and rallies all the fairy tale villains to help him storm the kingdom. This doesn't sit well with the princesses, however, who take matters into their own hands rather than waiting for their men to rescue them. That's not all there is to this movie, though, so

As usual, the characters are lovably hilarious in the ways we've come to expect, with my personal favorites being Puss in Boots and the Gingerbread Man (who gets some more screen time in this one, to my delight). Yet as for the story lines, everything feels slightly forced. The element of discovery is gone, as is any interesting story development, since Shrek and his previously unlikely friendships with Donkey and Puss have been fully established, and ways to up the ante now are becoming limited.

The writers did well to push the stories forward by having the happily married Fiona and Shrek on the fast track to starting a family. In addition, there are new takes on old things, like the princesses breaking free from convention which, small thing though it may seem to be, I truly appreciate. I grew up on the old kinds of fairy tales complete with ladies waiting to be rescued, and it's nice to see new material with a message of strength and independence rather than helplessness. Also, there's a new spin on the concept of fairy tale villains, which is refreshing, even if the villains' storyline ends abruptly and without real reason. So, while most of the movie feels like a stretch they don't need to be making, it's a cute movie featuring some endearing characters, which is really all kids ask for. And for all its adultish cleverness, the Shrek movies are still kids' movies.

Photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Join The Conversation
stopitgirls stopitgirls 9 years
Shrek 2 was the best. Shrek 3 was horrible...they spent way too much time on the justin timberlake character with his whimpy voice. I hope they just stick to the characters with any other sequels.
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 9 years
All 3 Shrek Movies are AMAZING! I am actually in the mood to watch them now: too bad I only have the 2nd one!
juliej juliej 10 years
So-so. The first one and second were better.
katygirlthing katygirlthing 10 years
i saw it recently and it wasnt bad!! theyve kept it alive and kicking!! good for them, but the fourth one might be the point of no going back.
HazeLiciouS HazeLiciouS 10 years
I was pretty good.
Princess101 Princess101 10 years
i wanna see that movie sooooo bad it looks to funny..
asco00 asco00 10 years
I just took the kids tonight to see it with their cousins, the kids really enjoyed it. I thought it was weak. Full of one liners but lacking in plot. But the kids loved it and that is truly what counts!!
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 10 years
My brother thought JT sucked in it...but then, he isn't a fan of his anyway lol
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
i thought it was terrible. the second half was better than the first but still; weak. nothing creative, potty humor, dream sequence, and chitty-chitty-bang-bang ending. my 8 and 6 year old thought it was "not very good". and actually my 6 year old said before we went "is there anything else to see? i already know that story". indeed.
junebrug junebrug 10 years
I'm sure I sound like an old woman, but I have never had any idea who these movies are for. I watched the first one on TV the other night and could not believe there were children watching it. There was way too much "cutesy" versions of curse words and sexual innuendo. I find it way too immature though to interest most adults. It does really well at the box office so America must disagree with me, but it seems like it wouldn't have an audience, except maybe teenagers.
The_coffeegirl The_coffeegirl 10 years
I saw it last night and thought it was hilarious. I laughed out loud several times. My roommate agreed, and while he has suggestions for things that could have been added to make it funnier, he thinks its the funniest Shrek yet. I think we need a Shrek Marathon to determine this.
lea88 lea88 10 years
i wanna see this moive.
BabyGirl3M BabyGirl3M 10 years
I saw the movie today. may be its just my opinion, but it was not at all funny. its worth seeing I guess, but the third sequel is rearlly better. My expectations were ruined. But hey.
justamy justamy 10 years
I took my daughter to see this today. I thought it wasn't nearly as good as the first two, but I still enjoyed it. My daughter really liked it, so I guess that is what matters.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 10 years
Great review, Buzz. Critics seem to agree that while not as good as the first two, Shrek the Third does okay. Looking forward to seeing this one soon.
SaraSmile SaraSmile 10 years
I agree, ALSW - I will be waiting for this to air on HBO, or to at least turn up on the internet. I haven't read many good reviews, but to be honest I didn't love the first two so maybe I am biased.
HistoryGeek913 HistoryGeek913 10 years
I'll go see this one in the theater. I did very much enjoy the first two, and even if this one isn't as good I have a feeling I will still enjoy it. Besides - how cute are those dragon babies? :)
ALSW ALSW 10 years
I heard good things about the Gingerbread Man! :) I think I'll probably wait for DVD on this one...
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