Shrek the Third Reviews
Shrek the Third sticks to the swamp it knows best, in a mild climate of palatable jokes about fatherhood, high school, girl power, and a drug-education program for teens that advises ''Just Say Nay.''
The world of the fanciful fable looks particularly vibrant this time with its signature blend of realism and fantasy. It is a pleasure to watch these fairy tale folk be themselves -- yet again.
Director Chris Miller and the credited writers are determined that if these films are to be a collection of riffs and gags, with a sweet afterthought for a finale, then they ought to be very good. And, largely, these are.
Where the first two films laced their stories with references to and appearances by familiar fairy tale characters, Shrek the Third is almost totally dependent upon them.
A parallel world of wonders, zestfully conceived and radiantly rendered, in which the great-hearted ogre tries his likeable best to avoid the parallel threats of kingship and parenthood.
Disposable, clever and never willing to pass up a chance to show how hip it can be, Shrek the Third should make kids titter, adolescents snicker and cash registers ring.
One measure of comedy's pleasure might be how often you recount the best bits after leaving the theater. Shrek is loaded with the sort of set pieces, both hysterical and satisfyingly amusing, you'll irk friends with.
It makes the mistake of thinking slapstick action is funny for its own sake. True, characters zooming and bouncing around are easy to write because no creative invention is required to set them in motion. But so what?
The charm has evaporated. Cinephiles will enjoy some of the in-jokes (watching an awful play, one character cracks, "This is worse than Love Letters"). But then, if you're a cinephile, why would you bother with this?