That lovable green ogres back. Hes still irascible and endearing but, somehow, this incarnation lacks some of the clever originality that made his predecessors so irresistible.
In the first film, Shrek (Mike Myers) and Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) fell in love and got married. In the second, they met the parents the King (John Cleese) and Queen (Julie Andrews), along with vengeful Prince Charming (Rupert Everett).
Now Shreks not only about to become a father but also rule as king with help from old friends like wisecracking Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and feisty Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) and new additions like Fionas half-brother Arthur, an underachiever known as Artie (Justin Timberlake), New Age-y Magician Merlin (Eric Idle), Lancelot (John Krasinski), Capt. Hook (Ian McShane), plus the feminist Princesses: Sleeping Beauty (Cheri Oteri), Snow White (Amy Poehler), Rapunzel (Maya Rudolph) and Cinderella (Amy Sedaris). And I didnt even get to Larry King and Regis Philbin as ugly stepsisters.
Im an ogre. Im not cut out for this, Shrek grumbles, yearning to return to his swamp hovel. But, of course, he rallies to the daunting task ahead.
Screenwriter/director Chris Miller makes his directing debut, working with co-director Raman Hui and writers Jeffrey Price & Peter S. Seaman, along with Aron Warner and the animation is glorious. But the fast-paced blending of classic fairy tale characters with campy contemporary culture just isnt quite as adventurous or amusing here. Even Donkey isnt as outrageous. Perhaps its all become too familiar. Yet there are funny moments just not as many as before. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Shrek the Third is an ornery, more ordinary 8. But since Shrek 4 and even Shrek 5 are underway, there should be lots more Happily-Ever-After ahead.