Plot: Shrek’s father-in-law falls ill, and Shrek is looked to as the heir to the throne. Only he doesn’t want it, so Shrek, Puss In Boots and Donkey set off to find Arthur, the only other possible heir. Meanwhile, Princess Fiona is left to defend the castle from Prince Charming. Who’s it for: Clearly it’s for everyone. “Shrek 2” is No. 3 on the all-time box office chart.
Expectations: I expected a short stay in the theater and some good laughs. With a movie like this the plot doesn’t matter if the jokes are flying.
Mike Myers as Shrek: Shrek still feels like an outcast, now because he’s expected to act like a king. Throw in future fatherhood and Shrek has enough to be frustrated with for the length of the film. But this time there isn’t as many action sequences, which was always a plus with the other films. Grade: 5
Justin Timberlake as Artie: See, his name is Artie, which is short for Arthur, as in King Arthur. It’s not Timberlake’s fault, but this character bored the heck out of me. He complained, whined and gave bad speeches. And what makes it worse is I always want to root for the awkward kid. Hopefully kids will listen to the lesson of believing in yourself, but for me it was too much. Grade: 3
Talking: Shrek talks to Artie using hip language, but there isn’t anything funny about the scene. It feels forced, in fact, most of what the main characters say (Shrek, Princess Fiona and Artie) feels overdone. It’s the side characters like Prince Charming, Puss In Boots and Pinocchio that steal the show. Grade: 5
Sights and sounds: The animation continues to be good. And it was nice to hear The Eels get another song on the soundtrack. But the “Live and Let Die” funeral was a little awkward and I couldn’t tell if they wanted me to laugh or feel sad. Grade: 6
Best scene: In every “Shrek” film, the best scene ALWAYS involves either the Gingerbread Man or Pinocchio. This is no different. Prince Charming barging in and interrogating both provides the only laugh-out-loud moment.
Ending: Even though I couldn’t stand the “La Vida Loca” cover at the end of No. 2, I found myself looking forward to the big musical number to end “the third. Prepare for a let down. There’s a song, but it runs during the credits and isn’t worth sticking around for.
Random thoughts: I understand they will keep making Shrek movies because they keep making money. And since this is the case, I hope they consider giving Puss In Boots, Gingerbread Man and the other side characters their own film.
Rewatchability: I’d rather watch “Shrek 2.”
With three part threes this month (“Spider-Man,” “Pirates” and “Shrek”) it’s the only one that knows how to cut things short. “Shrek the Third” is under an hour and a half, whereas the other two are WELL over two hours. The problem with this film is that after a quick, fun beginning they repeat a similar journey from the first film. Except this time, Shrek and Artie argue instead of Shrek and Fiona. The “Shrek” films always do a good job of combining Never, Never Land and our pop culture land, but in “The Third” they left out most of the laughs.
Overall Grade: 5