CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

Flashback 2007 ~ "Shrek the Third" has reached the point of diminishing returns

This cinematic month of May  has  featured three box
office winning trilogies that have lived beyond
financial expectations. **Spider-Man 3** may exceed
300 million dollars this Memorial Day weekend. With
the McDonald corporation’s cross promotion, **Shrek
the Third** has earned 122 million dollars in less
than seventy two hours this recent weekend. Despite
the 122 million dollar opening weekend, **Shrek the
Third** has reached the point of diminishing returns.

**Shrek the Third** opens on a sinister musical note.
Prince Charming (voiced by Rupert Everett) is grieving
the loss of his mother and his poor circumstances. The
Prince felt that he was heir to the throne of the
Kingdom of Far Far Away. Instead Shrek (Mike Meyers)
and his pals disrupted the coronation and now Charming
is living grumpily ever after.

Not much has changed for Shrek and his wife Fiona
(Cameron Diaz) since we last saw them. While the Frog
King (John Cleese) is ill, Shrek and Fiona have been
named temporary rulers of the kingdom of Far, Far
Away. Since they are both ogres and lack public
administration certification, Shrek seeks another heir
to the throne. The green guy recruits his sidekicks
Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss ‘n Boots (Antonio
Banderas) to find pauper Artie (Justin Timberlake),
who does not know he is a prince.  With Shrek away,
the distraught Prince Charming seizes this opportunity
and overthrows the temporary government.

If this plot sounds boring, then even the animated
characters seem bored by the narrative. Not since
**102 Dalmatians** have I witnessed the boredom of
children at an opening kiddie matinee. Usually a film
like **Shrek the Third** features a fast pace
narrative that one misses the details of the
background shots that feature clever gags. The
storyline for **Shrek the Third** is so drawn out that
one starts to count the mise en scene in this movie.
One misses the spontaneous feeling of the first
**Shrek** a mere six years ago.

Even the animated characters seemed bored by the
movie. Shrek, Donkey, Puss ‘n Boots and Fiona feel
weighted down by their domestic responsibilities. One
feels more empathy for the villains who have been
defeated by their inability to live happily ever
after. When the villains take over the kingdom, one
would rather party with Captain Hook and the Headless
Horseman. Shrek is no longer rough around the edges
like he used to be, he is now a Hollywood mogul who
plays it safe.

**Shrek the Third** is the first **Shrek** movie since
the DreamWorks/Paramount and the franchise does feel
sanitized. There were double entendre moments in the
first movie that worked on both a child and an adult
level. I have often wondered what a child of 2001
would think of their parents when reviewing the
original **Shrek** in 2011.  What was once outrageous
is now timid.

There will be sequels to **Shrek** and **Puss ‘n
Boots** is being courted for a spin-off. Yet one feels
weary of marketing that is not living up to its hype
or history.

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