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Shrek the Third (DQ)


Stars: (voice stars): Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Rupert Everett, Julie Andrews, Justin Timberlake, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Ian McShane

Director: Chris Miller

Lots more action, adventure and romance for Shrek fans, but less genuine humour and invention this time around. The Frog King of Far Far Away expires at amusing length (no more voice work in the series for Cleese, then) and it seems that Shrek the Ogre (Myers), married to the king's daughter Fiona (Diaz), should take over.

Horrified, Shrek has other ideas, and seeks out cousin Artie (Timberlake), a weedy loser who has similar misgivings. Meanwhile, the narcissistic Prince Charming (Everett), who sees himself as the rightful heir, summons the villains of fiction and fairytale, led by Captain Hook (McShane), and marches on the royal palace.

And Fiona is pregnant - one more worry for our big green hero. 'My father tried to eat me,' he confides to Artie. 'He gave me a bath in barbecue sauce and put me to bed with an apple in my mouth.'

There are dashes of visual humour to go with the verbal barbs, but not enough. Fiona's bust seems to have expanded this time round, but perhaps it's the pregnancy. Meanwhile, Donkey (Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Banderas) are little more than bystanders, there's too much of the unfunny Merlin (Idle) and the boring princesses have to rally round Fiona and the queen (Andrews) as they seek to thwart Charming's dastardly plans.

One views the promised Shrek 4 and Shrek 5 with mixed feelings, as it seems the series is already running out of puff.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Paramount. Technicolor.
93 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 0.

Review date: 25 Jun 2007