May 18, 2007 Shrek The Third Rating: PG for some crude humor, suggestive content and swashbuckling action.
Can an ogre ever find true happiness?
That question is put forth once again in "Shrek The Third."
Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz all return for another chapter of their fractured fairy tale. Now married and temporarily living in the king's castle in Far, Far Away, Shrek and Princess Fiona face a new challenge when her father the Frog King (John Cleese) takes ill.
Following the king's death, Shrek is faced with the choice of taking the throne or finding someone else for the job. The ogre, along with Donkey (Murphy) and Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) travels to bring back cousin Artie (Justin Timberlake) to accept the crown.
But while they're away, Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) and a host of villains lay siege to Far, Far Away. Shrek finds out and asks Merlin the magician (Eric Idle) to help him and his friends get back home to save the day.
"Shrek The Third" does have its moments. Donkey continues to be the perfect sidekick and Puss In Boots may be the best part of the movie.
But this story doesn't have the energy of the previous two. It just feels a little tired. It's not as funny nor as manic as the original and the first sequel. The new additions to the voice cast, most notably Timberlake, and a number of female comedians as fairy tale princesses don't add very much to the mix. Their performances sound and feel bland.
Even Myers doesn't possess much spark. There are some funny scenes, including where Donkey and Puss In Boots trade bodies when a spell goes wrong. However, we mostly just plod toward the conclusion which is delivered with a heavy handed message about believing in yourself that feels both forced and awkward. I want my "Shrek" movies to be bold and groundbreaking. And most of all they have to be funny. This installment doesn't rise to that level.
All in all, this film isn't very fresh. It feels like a warmed over effort that was made only for the money. And that is a shame.
On my rating scale, "Shrek the Third" earns a Double.
COPS Tonight at 8:00 PM Stupid Behavior No. 5
After a man crashes into a sign and takes off on foot, he collapses complaining of heart trouble; officers find meth and possible stolen items in a suspect's pocket; a couple argues over a damaged wall