Film Review: Shrek The Third

Film: Shrek The Third

Director: Chirs Miller and Raman Hui

Cast (Voice Overs): Mike Myers, Cameroon Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Larry King, Rupert Everett, John Cleese

Rating: 2.5/5

In a land Far far away, live all the creatures of little children’s books you ever read to yourself and your kids. After having watched Shrek the third, you honestly wish they just lived in the damn story book and stayed locked in there forever. You don’t want to be subjected to watching Shrek the third.

Two films down, it’s still about achieving a happily ever after ending. On this occasion, Far far away is plagued with yet another problem; this time around, King Harold (John Cleese) has hit the sack. Before his demise, he tells Shrek (Mike Myers) and Fiona (Cameroon Diaz) that they are the heirs to the throne. However, Shrek couldn’t care less, he wants nothing to do with the throne. He sets off in Search of Artie (Justin Timberlake), who may take up duties as King of Far far away. While the search for Artie is on, Shrek is not particularly excited as Fiona (Camroon Diaz) spills the news of her pregnancy.

Meanwhile, with Shrek gone, Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) and other fairy tale baddies decide to take control of Far far away. What follows is a fairy tale fight to save the kingdom and banish Prince Charming and his troupe of Villains.

With a mind-numbing plot, the film is mediocrity at its best. Once commenced, the story turns predictable. What seems apparent is a concise story being stretched to make a film that seems never ending. While the earlier films had the couple battle out problems together, in this film, each one is busy doing their own thing. The film seems horribly linear and single dimensional, with plots, sub plots and new characters thrown in for the heck of it.

Having seen the previous films, you know it’s the humour that dragged you to the theatre. Soon enough, you sit for the film and wonder if you’ve made it to the wrong screen. The humour seems far far away, the dialogues seem enforced. During the entire first half, the movie gyrates around an already exposed story and then moves on to mutilate it further in the second half. It is only the latter half that the frown you wore through the first half of the film turns into a smile and then a few chuckles fall out of your mouth. The shoddy dialogues like Donkey (Eddie Murphy) telling Shrek “Aahh! You know, you really need to get yourself a pair of jammies!” make you speculate who the film is aimed at, it certainly couldn’t be the kids and then if it is you, why aren’t you laughing?

On a positive note, the animation is yet again brilliant. The extensive detailing of shadows, textures and lights are spectacular. What seems obvious is the effort that must have gone in to time each character to perform the actions and then place them to create one massive film. But then with so much of effort, the least one could have done is brought back the tummy aching jokes throughout the film. The film, through the second half, is the only part which seems well balanced with humour and a sorry plot. Lines like “Rapunzel, Rapunzel Let down your golden hair extensions” are backed by worthy animated expressions that generate a few laughs (Key word: FEW!).

While all the actors provide their characters with great Voices and deliver the dialogues at the right moment, it is Justin Timberlake as Artie who disappoints and confuses. In a series of perfectly fitting artistes, he is the only one who seems like a complete misfit.

With an estimated $ 122 Million (and still raking!), Shrek The Third has had the biggest opening in comparison to any animated flick released. In India hopefully, the case will be different! But then with the holiday season underway and an existing franchise that steers you towards the theatre, it will get the initial response. Expect anyone to be sitting next to you, it could be a kid or a couple that has walked in for a cute time. The varied target segment the film caters to is its only advantage that until the content has been viewed by the audience.

On the whole, Shrek The Third is a sad, boring and dull version of its predecessors.  Its few titters don’t compare to the bags of laughter the earlier films offered. This one is a must-miss, to save you from the disappointment.