Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 21
 
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
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Cinema

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

(Photo, © 2007, by Dreawworks Animation LLC. All rights reserved.)

TIME TO RISE AND SHINE: Shrek (voice of Mike Myers, right) is annoyed when his best friend Donkey (voice of Eddie Murphy) tries to rouse him from a sound sleep so they can go off on a quest to find a suitable heir for the Kingdom of Far Far Away.

Shred the Third: Myers, Murphy, and Hijinks for the Ogre and His Sidekick

Kam Williams

Despite a noticeable decrease in attendance by adults between Shrek 1 and Shrek 2, the second movie still made almost a billion dollars at the box-office worldwide, thereby doubling the take of the original screen adaptation of the children's tale written and illustrated by William Steig. Therefore, Shrek the Third is guaranteed to be one of the biggest hits of this summer season even if it were only another mediocre sequel aimed at pre-teenagers.

Once again, the voice cast features Mike Myers in the title role; along with Eddie Murphy as Donkey; Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona; and John Cleese and Julie Andrews as her parents, the King and Queen of Far Far Away. Also back are Antonio Banderas as the swashbuckling Puss in Boots, Rupert Everett as Prince Charming, Christopher Knights as the Blind Mice, and Cody Cameron as Pinocchio and the Three Little Pigs. The picture introduces a plethora of characters from such familiar fairy tales as Sleeping Beauty (Cheri Oteri), Cinderella (Amy Sedaris), Snow White (Amy Poehler), Rapunzel (Maya Rudolph), and Rumplestiltskin (Conrad Vernon).

The plot is a logical extension of developments from the earlier films: Shrek 1 introduced the lovable green ogre which ended with his wedding to Fiona and in Shrek 2, the Princess took her lovable ogre home to "Meet the Parents."

At the third movie's point of departure, we find King Harold in failing health and urgently in need of an heir. Unassuming Shrek is reluctant to ascend to the throne, but when his father-in-law dies, he realizes that he'll have to wear the crown unless he can find a suitable replacement. Otherwise, the next heir in line would be his old nemesis, the ambitious Prince Charming, an outcast from the royal castle who has been reduced to performing in a dinner theater.

Fortunately, Fiona has a distant cousin Artie (Justin Timberlake), a nerdy teen who's attending a medieval prep school (similar to Hogwarts, an obvious cinematic nod to the Harry Potter films). After Fiona tells Shrek that she's expecting a child, Shrek hurriedly sets off in search of Fiona's cousin before his son is born.

Accompanied by his trusted sidekicks, the Donkey and the debonair Puss in Boots, our humble hero embarks on an adventure during which he meets up with an assortment of characters from such famous tales as Cyclops (Mark Valley), Cinderella's evil step-sisters (Larry King and Regis Philbin), and Captain Hook (Ian McShane). But there's never much doubt about how it will all turn out. Another happily-ever-after ending is clearly in the offing.

Along the way, brace yourself for sassy repartee, computer-generated slapstick, and enough bodily function humor to keep kids enthralled for ninety-minutes.

Good (2 stars). Rated PG for crude humor, suggestive language, and daring action. Running time: 92 minutes. Studio: Paramount Pictures.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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