Shrek the Third (2007)


When his new father-in-law, King Harold falls ill, Shrek is looked at as the heir to the land of Far, Far Away. Not one to give up his beloved swamp, Shrek recruits his friends Donkey and Puss in Boots to install the rebellious Artie as the new king. Princess Fiona, however, rallies a band of royal girlfriends to fend off a coup d’etat by the jilted Prince Charming.  (IMDb)
With a lazily conceived and executed and generally suspense-less plot, the onus is all on the comedy here, and while it’s not always on point (the potty humour and baby schtick don’t stick) there’s enough goofy slapstick (I couldn’t help but lol at the Shrek as mascot bit) and creative meta-humour (see Marlin’s forced sentimentality) to keep it watchable. A subversive play on the damsel in distress trope and a surprising and funny (if over-simplified) reconciliatory ending are other positives.
6.5/10 (Alright)

So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)


A San Francisco poet who fears commitment has a girlfriend who he suspects may not be who she appears. (IMDb)
A lazily presented plot (about a couple that’s rather bland aside from the key point of irony that is regrettably explained away in a disappointing final twist) featuring a few too many 90s music-backed time-passing montages and laughably breezed-over detective work in its final act is dotted with enough quirky secondary characters (see Myers’ ridiculous stereotypical Scotsman, the “too nice” police chief, the absent-minded pilot–“I just had the weirdest dream…”) to make it worth sticking out.
6/10 (Mediocre)

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)


A 1960s hipster secret agent is brought out of cryofreeze to oppose his greatest enemy in the 1990s, where his social attitudes are glaringly out of place. (IMDb)

It’s hard not to appreciate the top-to-bottom goofiness here. Groan-inducing puns (Alotta Fagina), eye-rolling punchlines (“I never forget a pussy… cat”), spy satire (“I too like to live dangerously”), repetition humour (“Sh!”), self-aware trope jokes (“I’m going to place him in an easily escapable situation…”), silly plot twists (see Dr. Evil’s father-son drama), clever sight gags (see the final cover-up scene): It’s no wonder there’s only five minutes of story, and it’s better for it!

6.5/10 (Alright)

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)


Dr. Evil is back…and has invented a new time machine that allows him to go back to the 60’s and steal Austin Powers’s mojo, inadvertently leaving him “shagless”. (IMDb)
There’s nary a hint of a substantial plot or complex characters here, but with an ample amount of often surprisingly clever humour (the synonyms for penis gags are great), the film manages to get by on pure silliness–and a good amount of self-aware jabs at its own shoddy storytelling don’t hurt either (“… just enjoy yourself!”). The multiple-character Myers is undeniably creative and while not all of his jokes land on their feet, enough do to overshadow the film’s lack of anything else.
6.5/10 (Alright)

Shrek (2001)

After his swamp is filled with magical creatures, an ogre agrees to rescue a princess for a villainous lord in order to get his land back. (IMDb)
Myers’ and Murphy’s Shrek and Donkey make up an instantly classic odd couple at the heart of this enjoyable animated adventure; their hilariously contrasting personalities add plenty of humour to an already fun journey-plot full of great tunes and imaginative extrapolations on well-known fairy tale characters and premises. Diaz is also great as the feisty Fiona central to the film’s touching twist on the typical prince/princess story. There’s lots to love in this cleverly written family flick.
7.5/10 (Really Good)