Too many characters to love--and that's a bad thing. And the spark is gone.5/10
I have been bouncing around for weeks in anticipation of this movie. As a huge fan of the first two movies, I was sure this one would not disappoint. But, oh, how wrong I was! While not as bad as many a film out there, this installment is yet a sad shadow of its series.
And it tries, it really did try. To its credit, there were several very clever scenes. The typical Snow White's gift with animals takes an awesome turn, and I can guarantee that you will never laugh harder at a death scene than the one of this movie. The animation? Top-notch.
I just guess effort doesn't always beat out sheer inspiration. A film with a few moments does not win against a good, simple movie.
The desire to produce a film merely ended up as a plot device to get Shrek and Fiona back to their beloved swamp. A long, boring plot device. With the passing of King Harold, Shrek and Fiona are heirs to the throne of Far, Far Away. Unfortunately, that does not interest them, so Shrek goes on a journey to bring back the next guy, a young Arthur "Artie" Pendragon. Heck, why not? Everyone loves a good Camelot infusion, and Artie is as flawed and as likable as you could want. Unfortunately, he is only one character in a cheesy madhouse of minor characters and cameos. In the effort to get everyone their screen time, that whole plot gets lost in the background.
Which normally wouldn't be a problem. After all, the original movie did not have the most complex of plots. What it had was a few incredible characters. The second movie added a few more, but still kept it delightfully manageable. This time, it seemed that the powers that be assumed we already knew everything about Shrek, Donkey, Puss, and the rest of the bunch that we really didn't need to see them. Hey, let's bring in one more characters for the audience, but refuse to give them time to get to know them! Poor, pathetic lack of character development.
So back to the plot. The few times that came around, it was pretty much a tacky, forced attempt to create some pseudo father/son relationship between Shrek and Artie. Good intentions, but no cigar. Maybe if we had more time... But we don't, so let's just wrap it up with a few corny lines about understanding and rising to the occasion. Yeah, we got that the first time around, and without any of the verbal commentary.
On top of that, this film misses that inexplicable spark of the first two installments. I'm sorry, but I just didn't feel it. Just as a lukewarm attempt of continuing the series and aiming at a five-year old audience.
Sorry. Not my favorite of the series by any means, leaving me to wonder how a sequel to films of such genius as "Shrek" and "Shrek 2" could make something so average?