Saturday, May 19, 2007

Movie Review: Shrek the Third

Synopsis: When the lovable ogre Shrek (Mike Myers) married Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), the last thing he had on his mind was becoming the next King. But when Shrek's father-in-law, the frog, King Harold (John Cleese), suddenly croaks, that is exactly what he faces. As he is dying, Harold discloses the name of another potential heir to the throne, Fiona's cousin, Arthur (Justin Timberlake). Unless Shrek (with the help of his trusted companions Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) can find Arthur, the ogre, who dreads the responsibilities and restrictions of royal life, could be stuck with the job. When Shrek (and his sidekicks) find Artie, a timid Medieval high school student, who is the victim of bullying classmates and a dysfunctional home life, Shrek realizes the boy is more than he bargained for. Shrek acts a surrogate father to the young man as he attempts to convince him to accept the position by threats, force, being a "buddy" to him, and then finally, by being himself and accepting the young man for who he is.

In Shrek's absence, the wicked Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) organizes an evil band - the bad fairy tale characters - of his own to take over Far, Far Away and to obtain what he believes should be his - the power of the throne. He and his wicked band fly into the town on broomsticks and capture the Princess and several other female fairy tale characters (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Rapunzel) who are in the midst of having a baby shower for the pregnant Fiona. Will Shrek return in time to save Fiona and her friends? Who will reign as King over Far, Far Away?

Critique: I enjoyed watching both Shrek One and Two, and felt this movie was just as funny and entertaining as the first two. The animation, the music, the plot, and the jokes were all excellent (with the exception of a few crude, off-color jokes that most children, hopefully, won't understand.) However, I was and continue to be bothered by the need to include characters (no matter how subtly they are introduced) who are transvestites, transsexuals, or homosexuals, as this adds nothing to the film, but detracts from it. These type of role models are unacceptable and we don't want children thinking that this is normal or acceptable behavior. Other than this, I felt that this film was very good in terms of emphasizing the following values: taking responsibility for your actions, believing in yourself, sacrificing for the good of others, working out peaceful solutions through dialogue, and in portraying good parental modeling and a happy family life.

I give this film four out of five stars. Although it is rated PG, I don't recommend it for children. Mature teenagers should be able to handle it, but I would recommend that you discuss it with your youngsters.

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Jean M. Heimann said...
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Jean M. Heimann said...

Another thing that I didn't care for in this film was the "catty" way the female good fairy tale characters acted toward one another at the baby shower. This is a minor thing, but this was another example of inappropriate and unacceptable behavior. I took offense at females being portrayed in this manner, especially when they are supposed to be the "good girls". They acted in a selfish, non-loving manner.