29 May 2007

Shrek the Third & Pirates (in which the women abdicate their thrones)

Disclaimer: I am not a film critic. You want a full review, talk to Ebert & Roeper. 

I love the Shrek movies. Pirates, well, two words: Johnny. Depp. Self-explanatory, folks. So, the offspring and I were all about some big spending at our local discount theater matinee.

I love me some Shrek, but the whole plot basis rankled a bit.

Here's the thing. The plot line was about Shrek inheriting the throne when Fiona's amphibious dad, the king, croaks, and the antics that follow. Yes, I said Shrek inherits the throne.


I'm sorry, but isn't Fiona the heiress heir to the throne? Yeah. So why isn't Shrek the new queen's husband, with an honorary "prince" title thrown in to keep him happy?

Hey, Prince Rainier handles it. It's not "King Rainier" and "Princess Elizabeth", is it?  Um, no. The prince knows who holds the royal papers, and presumably, his balls are still intact. He's fine.

So why not Queen Fiona?

Why? I'll tell you why. Fiona can not possibly inherit the throne, because Fiona, being now barefoot and pregnant, will not have time to reign. She has been relegated to royal breeder. Fiona, heir to the throne herself, must now concentrate on producing a real (read: male) heir while her husband takes the reins. So, Fiona waved from the dock, incubating her brood, while the men sailed off for adventure.

Welcome to Happily Ever After, honey.

Yes, the movie is called Shrek, not Fiona. Like I don't know that. So what. The queen did not give birth to Shrek; any stretchmarks marring that royal belly bear Fiona's name. Who the hell is Shrek? He's just a guy who came along decades later and jumped on the royal bandwagon.

Those are some fucked up laws of royal succession, right there.

All the work I've put into raising my daughters, I'll be goddamned if some guy is going to come along after the terrible twos, the terrible twelves, the teenage years, all that, and say, "Hey, thanks Mom -- can I call you Mom? I'll take that crown from here." Fuck that. You're the sidekick here, mister.

What if he starts bringing in concubines? What if he spends the gold on NASCAR and beer? What if he lets them eat cake? What happens to her family's legacy then? Sorry. You handed over the keys to the kingdom. He's king now, honey.  Ain't nothing you can do.

Enough. Fiona was no simpering girlie-girl princess. Fiona showed little girls that they don't have to settle for fawning over some prince and building up his ego. What disappoints me about Shrek 3 is that it reinforces the idea that once you're a wife, step aside, sweetheart, your main duties are to breed and stand by your man. I liked the kickass princess a hell of a lot better.

The filmmakers did redeem themselves somewhat with a side-story, in which Fiona turns her helpless band of captive girlie-girl princesses into a badass troupe of animated whoopass to keep the napoleonesque Prince Charming from stealing the throne. (Again though, keeping it safe for the menfolk's return)

Other than that, it was fun. I'd have liked to see Puss in Boots play a bigger role, but hey, that's just me.


Pirates, basically same deal.  Pirates = Johnny, and therefore, good. Again, not outstanding. Third in a series. Yada-yada, same stuff, different locations.

However: Elizabeth, through many plot twists and turns, becomes King of Pirate Lords.

Yes, honey, I said KING.

Fuck that girled-up queen shit, I said Elizabeth became King of the Friggin' Pirates. Hell, yeah. Okay, so she had some stilted and predictable dialogue going on there. Who cares? King. Badass.

So, short and sweet: what is it with the barefoot and pregnant thing? Can't the woman just be King and leave it at that? No. She cannot. She must return to land and bear a child. She must also bear the responsibility for raising that child while the menfolk sail the high seas. Whatever. Bastards.

Anyway. Other than that, it was fun. It's Pirates, of course it was fun.

I will say that Orlando was looking damn fine in this one. Most times, I'm just like, yeah, sure, he's hot. And that's that. (Now Johnny, I'm all about some Johnny. Goodgawd but that man does sexy down to the bone.) Anyway, the one exception for me was when Orlando was Legolas. Which is weird, because I am not, as a general rule, attracted to quiet, pale blonds with pointy ears.  Legolas though -- so damn appealing.

It's a mystery. Far be it from me to question the yearnings of my loins. Anyway, Will Turner is hotter than a little bit in Pirates 3. Not Johnny, but very appealing all the same.

So, that's my nonreview. Kings and queens are evidently not for girls, but hey, it's the movies, right? Still fun.


  1. I note with a small amount of shame that I didn't even notice that while watching Shrek the Third. But you're so totally right. And y'know what? Even if the writers had done the right thing and Fiona had inherited the throne, it might not have changed the plot any -- Shrek would still want to retire to his swamp. I did enjoy the animated Fox Force Five, especially given Cameron Diaz's past as a Charlie's Angel. Fun stuff.

  2. Yep, I missed that too. And here I was thinking how cool it was that the women got to be the action heroes, and I totally missed the point that they were being robbed of their kingdom. Now I'm mad at the movie, and ashamed of myself.

  3. Ah, my Daughter-Unit and Orlando Bloom. Legolas was all she saw in the LotR movies, and PotC as well. (She's not big on Depp--go figure.)

    I wanna see PotC for Keith Richards. That man still cracks me up after 50 years of living hard and hanging it up wet every frickin' night. It's gotta be the cast-iron liver.

  4. Like you, Depp shivers my timbers... and I wish Puss had a movie all his own.

  5. Willym: yes, YES, YES! a movie for Puss! (did that sound too orgasmic? It's Antonio. sue me.) And Johnny -- hell yeah, shiver away. My favorite is him in Chocolat. I'd be on that boat so fast, honey ...

    BN: I have one Legolas daughter (the younger) and another who would fight me to the death for Johnny. Brat.

    R7E & JP: Hey, thanks for letting me know that, I appreciate it -- very nice to get that response rather than the old "Come on, it's a cartoon, lighten up!" (the old accusations of "looking for" sexism/racism/heterosexism around every corner." Whatever. It's not about "looking for it", it's more about recognizing it, IMHO. Anyway, cool to read your comments)


I've got a fever ...