Shrek the Third
During my career as an consulting movie detective, I have always endeavored to use some discretion in selecting cases to spend my time on. The critics of the official force are always there to deal with lesser matters, and so I am free to choose which investigations I undertake . . . and which to leave alone. While I have a good deal of unwritten investigations, such as the dreadful business of the Ghost Rider or that odd historical concoction involving the late Willliam Wilberforce and “Amazing Grace,” there are also those occasions when I find myself forced to take on an inquiry by the sheer unavoidable nature of the matter at hand.
Case in point: “Shrek the Third.”
Did I find some distraction in the second installment of the “Shrek” saga? Yes, I did. Would I have had the cabman whip up the horse and race to see “Shrek the Third” if it had not taken over every single multiplex stall except for those presently occupied by “Spiderman 3”?
But see “Shrek the Third” I did, and here’s the solution to that mystery: It’s not funny.
Cute, in spots . . . clever, once or twice . . . and those moments are all in the previews you’ve undoubtedly already seen. Remember them? As I sat through this beautifully animated pap, I remembered all of the movies of late that did make me laugh. Some of them weren’t even comedies. And “Shrek the Third” sure wasn’t doing it. The story has most of the characters being miserable most of the time, and is filled with the sort of vague adult emotional baggage that doesn’t belong in a kids movie. Shrek fears fatherhood. Shrek feels incompetent at handling kingly duties. Prince Charming cries at his life’s failure and his dinner-theater career. Pre-king Arthur has adolescent issues. This isn’t a comedy – it’s a maudlinity. The frog king dies and they play “Live and Let Die” at his funeral, which is the strangest choice for a kids’ movie that I can recall in some time.
This one was best left for the critics of the Yard.
What Great-grandfather Sherlock would have said: