Reviewed by: David Criswell, Ph.D.
|Featuring||Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Rupert Everett, Justin Timberlake, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, John Krasinski, Eric Idle, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Amy Sedaris, Ian McShane|
|Director||Chris Miller, Raman Hui|
|Producer||Andrew Adamson, John H. Williams, Jeffrey Katzenberg|
“Who’s ready for Thirds?”
The only good thing to come from the Politically Correct movement are the first two Shrek movies. Notice I said the first two “Shrek” movies. “Shrek the Third” is clearly the weakest of the trilogy. Having said that, it is better than many movies currently in the theaters, but if fans are expecting a movie on par with the previous movies, they best reduce their expectations.
“Shrek the Third” is sorely missing the touch of Andrew Adamson (who left to work on the wonderful “Chronicles of Narnia” films). The best part of the third outing is the underlying story of a young King Arthur. That story was written by Andrew Adamson, but the script was worked upon by no fewer than six people, and it shows. The story seems to wander around without any direction, and the jokes too often seem as if they are plucked out of a straw hat.
Take, for example, the funeral scene of the frog king. The funeral march is “Live and Let Die” from James Bond. In the context of the movie, the joke makes no sense. It is cute, but not particularly funny. This is, unfortunately, how much of the movie flows. The best part of the film was the Medieval High School where Shrek finds the young King Arthur, but sadly this only occupies roughly ten to fifteen minutes of the film. The rest of movie seems misdirected and lacks a cohesive direction.
Morally the movie has the typical crude and rude jokes which make it inappropriate for young children. There is a rather gross vomiting scene (seen in the commercials), a joke about donkey seeing Shrek’s private parts, a “butt scratching” scene, a butt crack scene, comments about wedgies, “poop,” “extreme poop,” gross ear wax, more vomiting, and the reappearance (and expanded role) of the transsexual (or at least transvestite) bar maid.
In addition, there is plenty of animated violence including a “dubbing” scene where Shrek learns to knight someone, but doesn’t quite get it right (no blood is seen)! There is also a scene of an arrow being shot into someone and various other slapstick violence which is common in the film.
From a Christian standpoint, I was probably most bothered by the promotion of feminism, which even went so far as to include a bra burning scene. The various princesses (one with a tattoo) go in to rescue Shrek with all the feminist bravado one would expect from Arnold Schwartzeneggar. Of course, it is intended as parody.
Ultimately, Shrek 3 is a disappointment. It appears that Andrew Adamson had a greater impact upon the first two films than we might have known otherwise. The failure of Shrek on many levels demonstrates that Adamson was solely missed, but, on the positive side, it is a good sign for the forthcoming Narnia films. As for Shrek 4… Well, it will probably happen, but don’t get your hopes up. I have Shrek 1 and 2 on DVD, but will not be buying “Shrek the Third.” I can’t say that Shrek 3 is bad, but neither is it particularly good. I give it a generous B-.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.