The wait is ogre. But as with Shrek 2 (2004) the goods are slightly faulty. When the bar is set so high, it's difficult to raise it further and neither sequel reaches the heights of the original Shrek (2001). Shrek the Third isn't as disappointing as I found the second. It calms down the number of homages to other films, but its plot is a bit so-what. The King of Far Far Away (John Cleese) croaks it. The deathbed scene is brilliant with its repeated false alarms. King Harold wants Shrek to take over as king, but he doesn't want the responsibility, so he seeks out Artie (Justin Timberlake), who is next in line to the throne and a total high-school loser. Cue parodies of the teen movie. Meanwhile, Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) is desperate to snatch the crown and rallies support amongst all the other fairytale villains (Captain Hook, the Wicked Witches, the Headless Horseman, und so weiter).
The two main characters, Shrek (Mike Myers) and Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) are less interesting than in previous films. They have settled into their relationship together and have even reached the stage where we can expect the patter of tiny feet. They are also upstaged by the minor characters: Pinocchio (Cody Cameron), who has a hilariously circumlocutious way of avoiding lying to Prince Charming; the Gingerbread Man (Conrad Vernon), who punches well above his weight; the various princesses who act as Princess Fiona's ladies in waiting, including Snow White (Amy Poehler), Rapunzel (Maya Rudolph), the Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella (Amy Sedaris); and, the best kept secret, Eric Idle as Merlin, a magic teacher from Artie's Worcestershire high school who took early retirement because he went bonkers. He's a New Age, organically fuelled nutter and by far the funniest new character. These minor characters have overtaken the show. Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) continue their successful double act.
Nugget: despite some gags of joy, the format is getting a little tired.