screenplay by Jeffrey Price & Peter S. Seaman and Chris Miller & Aron Warner
directed by Chris Miller
by Walter Chaw A bad franchise reaches its nadir as DreamWorks Animation's flat-awful Shrek the Third (hereafter Shrek 3) tackles the King Arthur mythos in eighty unwatchable minutes of thunderously boring and occasionally moralizing shit, puke, and hitting gags. The only thing mildly entertaining in the whole mess is a prolonged death scene for a frog followed by a chorus of the things singing a Wings song--entertaining, though not in any way inspired or satirical. As calling the movie dumb would constitute a recommendation for people actually interested in seeing it, better to call it the kind of life-suck where you can feel the irretrievable minutes siphoning out your eyes. To say that children would enjoy it is a smokescreen for the mentally-underdeveloped and emotionally immature to indulge in lowest-common-denominator slapstick and the type of hollow banter that passes for wit in great swaths of greater primate societies. All else fails and toss in a cover of Heart's "Barracuda" by that champion of women's rights and humps Fergie--paired in facile shorthand with a throwaway gag featuring one of the pantheon of fairy tale princesses burning her bra. (Describing it is already more funny and clever than the action itself is in the film.) Prescribing medieval Ever After revisionist feminism to something as essentially useless and inert as Shrek 3 is jarring to the point of total incoherence. If anything, this film is the prime example of what happens when the aim of crafting something for the express purpose of entertaining dullards, mental defectives, and toddlers results in something so middlebrow that it tends toward a vacuum. In its "defense," it's more likely to cause naps than to cause hyperactivity.