(The Dreamworks-uary logo is shown, before showing clips from Shrek the Third. The song "9 Crimes" by Damien Rice plays in the background throughout)
Doug (vo): Well, you know I wasn't a big fan of the first Shrek film, but I absolutely adored the second one. So I didn't really know what to expect with the third one. Would they up the ante or take a giant step backwards? (pause as Doug smacks his lips) A giant step backwards. Right down to the villain being one that we already had: Prince Charming. Yeah, that's right. Half of the evil duo from the last movie. It's kind of like the Riddler and Two-Face being the criminals in one movie, and in the next one, it's just...Two-Face. But that's not the only reason to not like the movie. The dialogue is clumsy, the characters, awkward, the pacing, pretty inconsistent, and the jokes...not all that funny. Okay, so what's going on in this film? Actually, what isn't going on?
Doug (vo): Fiona's father dies in a surprisingly kind of a distasteful death scene, which means now Shrek has to be king. But Shrek doesn't want to be king, so he sets off to find the real owner of the throne: Arthur, a whiny, little awkward teen, played by Justin Timberlake, who, I'll admit, does get a laugh here and there. They go to the help of Merlin, played by Eric Idle, who also gets a lot of really good laughs, actually. But while that's going on, they figure out that Prince Charming has taken over Far Far Away, and is holding the queen and the princesses hostage. So, Shrek has to make it back and save the day, while Fiona has to break out with her ladies to take back the kingdom, all while also tying in a story that Fiona is pregnant and Shrek is nervous about being a father.
Doug (vo): You can tell from the plot that's a lot going on, but it could still potentially work as long as they keep the characters in focus and throw in a lot of good humor, which, as I said before, they really don't. I remember when I saw this with an audience, most of the people were just sort of sitting there in silence. I mean, there is a laugh here or there, and one or two good lines, but kind of like the first one, the plot just sort of moves and meanders without too many jokes even really being told. There's not even really that many new characters. I remember Arthur was kind of enjoyable, and Merlin was pretty funny, and the gimmick of the princesses going from damsels in distress to fighters is funny for a bit, but quickly wears that joke out. And, yeah, that's about it. When I think of Shrek 2 and I think of all the great characters we got from that, Puss in Boots, the Fairy Godmother, Prince Charming, the king and queen, the disgruntled elves that worked for the Godmother, I remember so much from that film and yet remember so little from this one. And I think what makes it even worse than something like the first Shrek film is that, while I'm not a fan of the first Shrek film, at least it had a good setup for a story, and it did have a decent heart to it, as well as a good moral. This one just seems much more choppy, with some jokes coming in at inappropriate moments, and others where there should be funny jokes, the dramatic moments rarely pay off.
Doug (vo): I think, for me, it's probably the least of the series. I don't know a ton of people that like it, I mean, I'm sure it has a few fans out there, but I've never met anyone that said, "Oh, yeah, Shrek the Third, that's my favorite." It's a shame that after a sequel as good as Shrek 2, they couldn't have a follow-up that was just as good, especially with so much stuff going on. Would this be the end of anything good coming out of the Shrek franchise? Well, I'll fill you in when I get around to Shrek 4. But for this one, I say you can definitely skip.
[The final scene of the movie, showing a shot of Shrek's home in the swamp, is shown]