Sunday, May 20, 2007

SHREK THE THIRD - Pop will eat itself

There is no love between us any more.SHREK THE THIRD is about as funny as its lame tagline, "the wait is ogre". The screenwriters simply cannibalise the fun characters and gags from the first two flicks, but without the novelty the impact is attenuated. And as for the oh-so-clever pop-cultural references, the lunatics have taken over the asylum. SHREK used to be a clever kids flick with the odd gag for the old folk. Now it's a whole-sale satire. Watching horror spoof turn into teen-comedy spoof turn into whiny Zach Braff spoof turn into musical-spoof, I couldn't help hankering for the old days. You know, when a SHREK movie had proper messages for the young'uns: it's character rather than superficial appearance that matters; and hey, women don't have to be passive princesses rescued by swashbuckling princes. By contrast, SHREK THE THIRD is as whiny and over-long as your standard whiny indie thirty-something drama.

We find Shrek reluctant to inherit the throne of Far-Far Away and become a dad. He wanders off to find the next in line to the throne - a whiny young teenager called Arthur. (Do you detect a theme?) But in his absence, the previously thwarted Prince Charming has staged a coup and is going to kill Shrek by singing Andrew Lloyd-Webber songs. (Scary). That's pretty much it. Mike Myers voices Shrek with a diminished Scottish accent - a sop to global audiences perhaps? Rupert Everett plays his role as evil Spidey, sorry, Prince Charming, with some elan. Eric Idle has a passably funny cameo as Merlin. But all the other voice cast are on auto-pilot. And are Led Zep handing out music rights to any old rubbish, now?

SHREK THE THIRD is on release in Russia, the Philippines and the US. It opens in Malaysia and Singapore next weekend. It opens in Egpt, Slovenia, Australia, New Zealand, Estonia, Latvia, Turkey on June 8th; in France, Argentina, Hungary, Slovakia, Brazil, Mexico, Taiwan on June 14th; in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Iceland and Spain on June 22nd; in Hong Kong, Israel, Austria, the UK and Japan on June 29th; in Poland on July 6th; and in Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway and Sweden on August 31st.


  1. What's with mindless cash-in sequels this year? Say what you like about Rocky Balboa, at least it was good.

    But Spidey, Mr Bean, 28 Weeks Later - all sequels - all steaming piles of shite. Prediction - Pirates 3 will join them on the Pantheon of the Execrable.

    Has originality died in '07? Has humanity finally ran out of new ideas?

  2. Sorry Bina - not with you here, I really enjoyed Shrek the 3rd... As a parent I bought into his experience of fatherhood 100% and thought the whole thing whizzed past on a fun blast of well observed humour (body swap puss / donkey, Merlin and the frog king death...) roll on S4 I say!?