Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Shrek the Third

On Friday, a small group of GCF'ers went out to see Shrek the Third. This is the first in our summer GCF Trip to the Movies series. Other movies we're seeing this summer are Ocean's Thirteen, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and The Bourne Ultimatum. It's a summer of sequels!

As far as sequels go, the newest Shrek installment was a lot of fun. The jokes were jam-packed and replete with pop-culture references. When Shrek and Donkey go to a medieval high school to find Arthur Pendragon, everything is fair game. There's a cheerleading squad in dresses and tall hats using "thee's" and "thou's." Nerds get their heads dunked in chamber pots. Lancelot is head of the jousting team, and Guenevere is the coolest girl in the school. Shrek breaks into a school gathering right after a "Just Say Nay" speech has ended. There's all of that and a lot more in the mix, especially since Arther is the one who will take the throne of Far Far Away.

But that leads me to my gripe for the movie. It feels like I can't see a movie whose moral isn't "Be yourself." Shrek's be-your-self-ness dripped all around the film, especially when Shrek is trying to convince Arthur to take the throne. It seems like the movie exists in a moral universe in which the only good is sincerity and the only evil is insincerity.

But, of course, it doesn't. Prince Charming is full of hubris and is entirely sincere about it. On the other hand, Shrek's character develops as he grows out of being-for-himself into being for his wife and children. The latter is obviously the better path for the Christian (and humanity in general), yet that real gem of selflessness is hidden under the 'moral' that creates Prince Charmings in the first place.

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