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★★★☆☆

“I enjoyed the first two Shrek films very much,...”

Written on: 06/08/2007 by riker (77 reviews written)

I enjoyed the first two Shrek films very much, especially Shrek 2 which introduced more characters such as Puss in Boots. Shrek the Third was disappointing as I found the story a bit too solemn with less light hearted humour. Fiona's father dies and Shrek leaves to find the next in line to the throne of Far Far Away so that he doesn't have to be King. Prince Charming rounds up all the nursery rhyme nasties and takes the throne whilst Shrek is gone. It has all the fairytale characters such as Rapunzel, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Arthur Pendragon (Justin Timberlake) is a bit lame but Merlin is even worse. It seemed like a rehash of the second film with Prince Charming taking over and Shrek having to save the day. There is an upbeat soundtrack which detracts from the film as I found myself listening to that rather than what was going on. My two children came with me to see the film and the younger boy (age 6) really couldn't sit still as he was so bored. The older boy (age 8) enjoyed it more but, compared to The Simpsons Movie which we saw last week, this film really didn't keep them interested.

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★★★☆☆

“Unsurprisingly not as good as the original Shrek but a...”

Written on: 17/07/2007 by matt of bicester (16 reviews written)

Unsurprisingly not as good as the original Shrek but a refreshing improvement on the second film. This film has what Shrek fans love about the franchise: a twisted take on old fairy tales, witty and fast-paced dialogue, and jokes cleverly pitched at audiences of all ages. Shrek the Third also benefits from dealing with some issues that will hit close to home for a lot of us, particularly unwanted responsibility (in this case, responsibility to the crown and children). Shrek's dream about impending fatherhood was both funny and scary at the same time!

The interplay between various princesses (Snow White, Cinderella etc.) was very entertaining and the rallying together of the 'bad guys' a good twist on the old tales.

Unfortunately, young Arthur's character was weak, struggling to come across as genuine or funny. The final twenty minutes was also an unconvincing sequence, the lack of coherence or tension leading to an inevitable anti-climax.

Altogether, this is an entertaining film that's well-worth going to see, particularly if you are a fan of the others. Unfortunately, as with so many of these trilogy sequels, the good bits are too often interspersed with mediocrity.

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★★★★☆

“As much as I've enjoyed Pixar/Disney's features over...”

Written on: 19/05/2007 by Timix1 (33 reviews written)

As much as I've enjoyed Pixar/Disney's features over this past decade or so (last summer's CARS was no exception), I've always held Dreamworks' pair of SHREK flicks especially close to my heart. Maybe it's because I worship at Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy's feet as comedy gods who were the best things to ever happen to 'Saturday Night Live'. Maybe it's the films' inspired re-contextualizing of our beloved fairy tales. Maybe I just like sass-talking gingerbread men (and maybe I've said too much at this point). In any case, these films represent an interesting counter-point to Disney's output in much the same way Warner Bros.' 'Looney Tunes' did back in their day; their eyes are more keenly fixed on the (slightly more adult-themed) humour while never forgetting the importance of character development. And while I'm beginning to find the proliferation of pop culture references in most kid-themed films increasingly tiresome, I've always enjoyed SHREK's ability to make the most of its devilish in-jokes (the unfortunate naming of Lord Farquaad remains a high/low point). So needless to say, I was most anxious for a third helping of the ogre's shenanigans.

The plot: after Harold the frog king croaks (pun very much intended), Shrek and his furry sidekicks must track down Harold's only living heir to the throne or else our big green hero will be obligated to fulfill the royal duties himself. Meanwhile, Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) rallies his own army into taking over the kingdom of Far, Far Away and claims the throne for himself. Amidst all the mayhem, Shrek must deal with the unwanted news that his wife Fiona (Diaz) is pregnant.

On several levels, SHREK THE THIRD does deliver the goods. The digital animation remains a luscious wonder to behold. The main players are as entertaining as ever (watching Murphy's Donkey and Banderas' Puss In Boots bicker is always a treat). Its recasting of fairy tale villains like Captain Hook and Stromboli as misunderstood underdogs with their own sides to their famous stories furthers the series' subversive take on these centuries-old writings.

That being said, the film suffers somewhat from 'been-there, done-that' syndrome. There's only so many times one can listen to Shrek complaining about his desire to return to his beloved swamp before you wish him that speedy return and be done with it. The comedic set pieces don't always deliver the laughs as successfully as before (the climactic rescue by a collective of fairy tale princesses - all gamely voiced by Saturday Night Live alums - falls especially flat). And it fails to introduce any new characters to rival the already plus-sized cast. Nothing against the talented Justin Timberlake (as Artie, the nerdy heir to the throne), but frankly he sticks out like a sore thumb here; Eric Idle fares slightly better as the scatter-brained Merlin.

Still, it's the movie's smaller comedic touches that kept me entertained and outweighed the rough patches, whether it's the sight/sound of CNN interviewer Larry King as Doris the Ugly Stepsister, seeing King Harold's coffin - a 'Ye Olde Foot Locker' shoe box - floating by on a lily pad, or my man Gingy's life flashing before his eyes in a side-splittling montage. Is SHREK THE THIRD ultimately a letdown? Perhaps, but movies never benefit from high expectations, and mine were sky-high in the first place. If you enjoyed the first two installments, there's no good reason to skip this third outing.

And at least this much can be said: it doesn't disappoint as much as the recently released SPIDERMAN 3 (but I'll save my thoughts on that movie for its own review).

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Fanfan's Response to Timix1's Review

Written on: 25/05/2007

Great review, is it just as entertaining for kids as the last two?

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Degbert's Response to Timix1's Review

Written on: 01/08/2007

For the third time I laughed more than I grimaced, but this reviewer is right that the whole Artie thing was horribly limp, and the growing pains of a father-to-be turned Shrek himself from lovable oaf to tiresome self-absorbed young parent. Some of the one-liners were wonderful, however, and the slapstick scenes a triumph once again. The funniest moment was the donkey/cat voice transition. I'll say no more, but an indignant Banderas rather stole the show for me. Probably a 6/10 all in all.

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Timix1's Response to Timix1's Review

Written on: 25/05/2007

Thanks for the compliment!
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<br/>Yes, I'd say it's just as appropriate for kids as the first two. King Harold's death and funeral might be sad for very young children, but the movie doesn't dwell on his passing for too long; they actually have Paul McCartney's "Live And Let Die" (of all things!) playing during his funeral. Like the first two, SHREK THE THIRD has several more adult-themed gags that will go over kids' heads, but nothing objectionable.

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