Reviewer's grade: C
Once upon a time, there was an ogre named Shrek. He was big, green and lovable " and DreamWorks loved the big-time greenbacks he brought them in two box-office hits. That probably should have been the end of the fairy tale, but some storytellers don't know when to leave well enough alone.
"Shrek the Third" is not an awful movie; there are some funny moments, even a few out-and-out laughs, but the third time is no charm. This latest installment is a tedious, largely forgettable exercise that runs on the fumes of its predecessors.
All the principal characters " Shrek (Mike Myers), Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) " are back, but the adventure feels curiously airless and by-the-book. There are still flashes of ironic wit, but the picture's riffing on fairy tales and pop culture lacks genuine punch. So much for happily ever after. PG
" Phil Bacharach