Just forget the words and sing along

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Animted Film Catch-Up: Shrek the Third

I guess I chose a bad weekend to do animated film catch-up as, after having lived in this place for a year and a half, the landlord chooses this weekend to finally re-wire the bathroom. Oh, well. At least with his flipping of breakers, he didn't shut down the TV. But today, it was....

Shrek the Third

Animation Studio: DreamWorks Animation

Directed by Chris Miller; Co-directed by Raman Hui

Starring the voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Rupert Everett, Justin Timberlake, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Julie Andrews, Cheri Oteri, Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, and Amy Sedaris.

The Backstory: Please allow me to repeat myself. I like the first Shrek. Really, I do. But I wish people would stop selling it as what it isn't. It's not a satire of fairy tales...it's a sarcastic, self-referential fairy tale. And it never needed a sequel. But yet, it spawned Shrek 2, which I still think is the most god-awful animated film ever rendered. But still, I couldn't help but slow down for the train wreck that would be a third Shrek film.

Plot: Still bitter about his defeat at the end of #2, Prince Charming decides to stage a coup by rallying all the fairy tale villains together and overthrowing the kingdom of Far, Far Away. Meanwhile, the king of Far, Far Away passes away, and the throne is left to Shrek and Fiona. Shrek, not really wanting to be a king, goes off on a quest to get the only other heir to the throne, King Arthur...but he prefers Artie. So, while Shrek is gone, Charming stages his coup, and then Fiona and all the fairy tale princesses have to band together and liberate the kingdom. Oh, and Fiona is pregnant and, by mentoring Artie in the ways of being a king, Shrek gets over his insecurities about fatherhood.

What I Liked: The fact that every princess is voiced by a Saturday Night Live cast member. In fact, the whole subplot with the princesses deciding that they weren't going to wait around to be rescued anymore. That's gotta be the best subplot in the film. And I still like Mike Myers. And there's a great scene where the Gingerbread Man's life flashes before his eyes.

What I Didn't Like: OK, we get the joke by now. The plot is just like the first one and the second one.

Final Verdict: Better than number 2, but still short on laughs.

2.5 Nibs

And don't forget, there's still a lot more Shrek on the way! The Christmas special, Shrek the Halls, airs on November 28. The fourth film, already christened Shrek Goes Fourth, comes out in 2010. The fifth film is scheduled for 2013, and the Puss in Boots solo film is still in the works.

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