Fun For All: Shrek The Third
When asked if he wanted a birthday party, Nicolas, a hip about-to-be seven-year-old I know, shook his head and said: “No, I just want to see Shrek with my cousins.” And they were not disappointed. The big green-colored ogre is back with laughs for every age, from silly slapstick for the kids to pop culture jokes for adults. In fact, some of the satiric sharpness of the first two films is missing here. Shrek (Mike Myers) is still irascible but a little softer and Donkey (Eddie Murphy) is less of a compulsive talker and more of a friend.
This film begins with a medieval version of a dinner theater where Shrek and his wife Fiona (Cameron Diaz) disrupt the ceremony while struggling with their stiff royal clothes. Then there is a jousting duel, a magic act, dancing, and some atrocious singing.
As the story ramps up, Shrek and Fiona are summoned to the deathbed of the Frog King (John Cleese), and Shrek becomes next in line to be king of Far Far Away. But he must refuse given the oafish way he performs royal duties. “I’m an ogre,” he says. “I am not cut out for this.”
So he’s off to find another heir to the throne, Fiona’s long-lost cousin, Arthur Pendragon, (Justin Timberlake) a nerdy outcast at a medieval prep school across the seas. As Shrek and his two buddies, Donkey and the suave swashbuckling Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) set sail, Fiona surprises her husband with the news that she is pregnant. The panicked Shrek imagines himself surrounded by multiple baby ogres.
A fun subplot features Prince Charming (Rupert Everett). Jilted by Fiona for Shrek, he enlists a band of storybook losers—Captain Hook, the Big Bad Wolf, the Evil Queen and the Headless Horseman among them—to stage a palace coup in Far Far Away and be granted their own happily ever after ending for once.
Thus the film is set for a classic showdown. But guess what? They are opposed by heretofore-sweet young damsels—Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Rapunzel—while Shrek, Fiona and Arthur settle their futures.
Finally Shrek becomes a father, undoubtedly setting the stage for Shrek the Fourth.#