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Director: Chris Miller, Raman Hui (Co-Directed)
Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Justin Timberlake, Eric Idle
This is the “third” installement of the now supernova, Shrek Franchise. It places our hero as the Ogre who would be king. The story is that Fiona’s Dad, who after all his self realization in the first two movies seems to be okay with living the rest of his soon-to-end life as the frog he actually is, instead of the human form king he led everyone to believe he was for so long. Shrek is having the same inner struggle he has had in every edition so far, and decides that he cannot be king because he is an OGRE (Ogres are not like cake or Parfait). So he, and the ever present “Donkey”(Eddie Murphy), set off with their new pal, Puss, to find the only other living heir (Justin Timberlake). During the first part of the story, you also find out that Fiona(Cameron Diaz) is pregnant (reinsert Shreks previously mentioned struggle only this time about being a father) and the prince charming is pissed off about not getting to marry a princess and become the next king himself (gift wrapped villian). I don’t understand the whole Charming story line though because from what I remember from the first 2 movies, he was never going to marry Fiona which is really the only way he can become king, but, hey, you need a villain, right?
So, good gets temporarily stomped by evil only to realize that good is not completely finished yet. Look out evil because while you were gloating about your win, good hits you over the head with a shovel. Everyone learns something and they all live happily ever after.
I have to say, I went into this movie expecting it to fall into all the familliar trappings of every sequel, same characters and the same old, tired gags (don’t move dirtbag, I’ll be back, add a few yourself). I was pleasantly surprised. The script was very well done. They did what all sequels should do. Let the storylines and characters develop so that the overall series can progress. I really enjoyed the way they have made “Far, Far Away” and absolute satire of Beverly Hills, complete with “Versarchery” and palm tree lined streets. I also really appreciated the way the relationships have changed and developed without losing the integrity of the original dynamic and without sacrificing the brand. Puss in Boots, who Antonia Banderas portrays brilliantly, has now become the co-sidekick. This allows a combination of hilarious Donkey-Puss gags that will keep the kids occupied. It also allows the main relationship between Shrek and Fiona develop without losing the comic relief. There is also a deeper look into the secondary characters like the portrayal of Cinderella, Snow White and Rupunzel and bitchy, catty, stuffy, superficial Paris Hiltonesque socialites who are all about climbing the ladder of the public eye.
This was a very enjoyable 2 hours. A word of caution to parents who are planning to use this as an escape from their 4 year old: The little ones will not get most of the references and you will spend most of the movie saying “be quiet and sit down” while the kids are saying ” WHAT IS GOING ON?? and where is the DONKEY” The Teens and adults will laugh non-stop at the mature content and never-ending mature references, while younger kids will spend the whole time looking forward to the Bee movie with Jerry Seinfeld that previewed before Shrek started.