"Puss in Boots" Movie Review
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We fell in love with the character Puss in Boots when we first saw him in 2004’s “Shrek 2.” The frisky feline, voiced by Antonio Banderas, nearly stole the show from Mike Myers (Shrek) and company.
Now, Puss is ready for his close-up and is getting his own feature film. It’s an origin movie explaining how Puss got his boots. Well, the cat is finally out of the bag and I’m happy to report that the action adventure is fun, lively, and inventive. It is indeed the cat’s meow!
Big credit goes to director Chris Miller who has been with the Puss in Boots character since its inception. He understands the complexities of the cat, the myth, the legend. “Puss in Boots” stays true to the winning and charming spirit of the “Shrek” films.
Long before he even met the loveable green ogre, Puss in Boots has already made a name for himself. He’s an outlaw and a notorious fighter, and he’s wanted in his town of San Ricardo.
One night, Puss encounters a mysterious cat burglar who is really a cat named Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek). Wearing a Catwoman-inspired costume, Kitty is tough and street smart. Their first encounter is a duel of a dance fight and it was choreographed brilliantly.
Banderas and Hayek have always had palpable chemistry and you can feel it oozing on screen. Whether Puss and Kitty are fighting, or falling in love, the actors make you believe in the genuine warmth the characters have for each other.
By now, Banderas and Puss in Boots are synonymous. The actor has given the cat character so much depth that it’s hard to imagine Puss in Boots without Banderas. After so many years with the role, you expect Banderas to give a by-the-numbers performance. But truth be told, the actor has never been more alive!
Zach Galifianakis (“The Hangover” films) is also one of the shining additions in the growing “Shrek”/”Puss in Boots” family. He voices the role of Humpty Alexander Dumpty, a rotten egg who used to be Puss’ best friend and confidante.
The adventure is centered on the mythical magic beans owned by the evil Mr. and Mrs. Jack and Jill (Voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris). True to the fairy tale revisionism of the “Shrek” movies, Jack and Jill do not go up the hill to get a pail of water. They are big, mean, and living a life of crime.
Another similarity with the “Shrek” movies is that “Puss in Boots” is acutely self-aware and therein lies its charm. When Puss receives a pair of boots because of his heroism, he declares, “How strange it is to give cat boots!”
And because “Puss in Boots” is tailor-made for the little ones, the film comes with a message. Loud and clear is the idea of finding your own self. But the movie also has a message for cat owners who declaw their furry friends. One of the characters is declawed which forces Puss to say, “cat people are crazy.”
“Puss in Boots” is also visually dazzling in 3D! I have never been a fan of the three-dimensional technology but this film takes advantage of its scope and vista. The camera swoops in and out of a given scene thereby inviting the viewers to participate. Watch for the dance fight, the chase on the rooftop, and the appearance of the beanstalk scenes. You will be impressed.
“Puss in Boots” is a purrrfect film for the whole family. Young kids will be delighted by our hero’s adventures while grown-ups will laugh at the jokes. Unlike the middle-of-the-road “Cars 2,” “Puss in Boots” is very respectful of its audience.
If cats have nine lives, then this film is poised for eight more sequels. Okay maybe not that many, but this cat sure has a lot more tales, or should we say tails, to tell.
RATING: “PUSS IN BOOTS” GETS 3 ½ KISSES
Transcripts / Production notes / Scripts
Long before he even met Shrek, the notorious fighter, lover and outlaw Puss in Boots becomes a hero when he sets off on an adventure with the tough and street smart Kitty Softpaws and the mastermind Humpty Dumpty to save his town.
Also Known As: Puss in Boots 3D
Puss in Boots: An IMAX 3D Experience
Genres: Action/Adventure, Animation, Comedy and Science Fiction/Fantasy
Release Date: October 28th, 2011 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG for some adventure action and mild rude humor.
Distributors: DreamWorks Animation/Paramount Pictures
Cast and Credits
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris
Directed by: Chris Miller
Year of Production: 2011
Country: United States