Shrek The Third
Voices: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas
Direction: Raman Hui and Chris Miller
Rating: * * 1/2
There’s a new disease in Hollywoodtown, it’s called Three-quelitis. The symptom is one-point: getting bogged down by the sheer lust to brainlessly churn out a third money-spinner, in a series that had everyone raving about the first two films. Shrek, the latest victim, probably caught Three-quelitis from Spider-Man a few weeks ago.
Shrek The Third hits you just as Spider-Man 3 did, with its obvious, pooped-out formula frenzy. You spot the same urgency to peddle a box of tricks that has already regaled, in a desperate bid to woo the crowds once again.
<b1>But Shrek 3 clearly misses out on the two factors that gave the earlier films their edge — wit and imagination. The film opens with a rocking parody dig at dinner theatre. It’s funny, and it sets your expectations soaring. Sadly, nothing of what happens through the hour-and-half runtime after that lives up to it. It’s a bumpy downhill trek as Shrek is chosen the heir to the land of Far Far Away.
Awkward attempts to remix the King Arthur fable with Puss In Boots punches follow. Donkey is still in his elements, but the jokes overall seem a bit tired, amid all the moral science lessons thrown in.
Shrek The Third will work because children will love it anyway. But then they love anything on Sunday morning toon television too, and that’s not much of a bar for Shrek.