Shrek the Third (2007)

(In theaters, May 2007) If this film has any distinctive feature at all, it’s the way it may mark the transition of the Shrek movies into a succession of episodes starring an ever-larger cast of characters. Despite the impressive progress in computer-generated animation and the lessening importance of pop-culture gags, Shrek and the gang are becoming blander and more beholden to the necessities of shareholder interests. While the film is generally harmless, the comic highlights are becoming less memorable. Stretching my memory, I can dimly recall a union of villains and a fairly good life-flashback gag involving Pinocchio, but that’s about it: the rest just blurs into a series of generally pleasant scenes without much bite. Who wants to bet that there will be a Shrek 4, 5, 6…?

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