The story is familiar: a disgruntled Shrek (Myers) finds himself hovering on the brink of a midlife crisis, loathing quiet family life and yearning for his youth when he was a carefree and much-feared ogre. This latest adventure has him returning to the castle where he once rescued princess Fiona (Diaz), and again has to win her heart with a kiss.

Gone is the wit that carried the first two Shrek films. The characters seem to have lost their charm and are reduced to shadows of their former spunky selves. It’s still entertaining, and the animation has never looked so rich, but the fairytale allure has faded.

After an introductory montage of changing baby diapers, Shrek encounters a magician who goes by the name of Rumpelstiltskin. This latest fairy-tale caricature makes our hero an offer he cant refuse: an uninterrupted day of peace and quiet to allow him to be the grumpy, fearsome ogre he once was. No family. No crying babies. No unwanted visits from obnoxious acquaintances. Savvy Shrek immediately asks about the catch; which is a day from Shrek’s own childhood in exchange for his one day of freedom. Seems harmless enough, but little did Shrek know that Rumpelstiltskin plans to use that day to erase Shrek's very existence…unless of course he can find a way to annul the magical contract before all is lost.

For the remainder of the film Shrek finds himself caught in a CGI version of It’s a Wonderful Life. Fiona is now the leader of an ogre resistance army, Puss the cat (Banderas) is so fat he looks like Garfield, and Donkey (Murphy)…well at least some things never change.

To make a long story short, Shrek learns a valuable lesson and regrets taking for granted his loving family.

Except for one scene where Shrek gets chased by a pack of evil witches, the picture’s 3D component doesn’t add much to the viewing experience. The only truly evolved element of the film is Myers’ ogre voice performance; which is a more heartfelt, emotionally rich take on the giant green character.

If you’re a fan of the ogre with a heart of a gold, then you will most likely show up for his farewell. Otherwise, the latest Shrek doesn’t offer enough to warrant a visit to the multiplex. Sure it’s funny, but this one has been done before, and with better results.