Shrek the Third (2007)
Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle, Justin Timberlake
Directed by: Chris Miller and Raman Hui
I’ll admit, the first time I saw each of the first two Shrek movies, I enjoyed them. I thought Shrek was a great character, that the gags were funny, and that the concept of updated fairytales was fairly original for a family film. When I went back to rewatch the original a couple years ago, I saw how dated the movie had become, and wasn’t all that interested in rewatching the sequel.
As a result, I really wasn’t all that excited to see another sequel. But, I figured that the first two entertained me the first time I saw them, so I’d let Shrek the Third have the same chance, and worry about its timelessness (or lack thereof) later. Still, I wasn’t expecting much. I was expecting it to be simple, to rehash a lot of the same material as the earlier films, to be disposable and shallow entertainment.
What I didn’t expect was for it to be so fucking dull. Oh gawd, this movie was unspeakably boring. The jokes were beyond stale, the set ups were tired, the characters were uninteresting, and the whole thing was juvenile. There were times in the movie when I seriously considered taking a nap; I was that disconnected with the story. The entire movie was uninspired, coming off as though everyone involved with the movie knew they had parents over the barrel when it came to this sequel, as their kids were going to make them take them to it anyway, so there was no need to put any effort into it. Look, I know I’m not the target audience for this movie, but there were kids in the theatre, and after the initial bunch of laughs, they were pretty quiet. Sure, it’s an unscientific polling of the target audience, but believe me, I wasn’t too distracted by the movie to not notice.
It’s not even so much that Shrek the Third was bad, so much as it was completely devoid of good. Alright, I suppose the animation is good, pretty much up to the standards of the earlier films. But… who cares, really? Good animation is a terrible reason to see a movie, and not a reason at all to make a third movie, much less see it. A third movie gets made because there’s still a story tell, and you see it because of a connection to the story. Or at least that’s how it should be. But of course the real reason they make a third movie is to keep squeezing out every possible nickel they can, and the reason we go see it is just plain habit and submission to the deluge of advertising.