movie film review | chris tookey

Puss in Boots

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  Puss in Boots Review
Tookey's Rating
4 /10
Average Rating
5.97 /10
Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifiniakis
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Directed by: Chris Miller
Written by: Tom Wheeler

Released: 2011
Origin: US
Length: 90

Far from purrfect.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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This is a 3D spin-off of the Shrek films and has as its hero that legendary swordsman Puss in Boots, seductively voiced by Antonio Banderas. It is also an origins story, explaining who the ferocious feline was, pre-Shrek.

Impeded and aided by romantic interest Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek, phoning in her performance) and a bad egg, in the form of his childhood friend Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifiniakis, sadly underpowered), Puss goes on a quest to steal magic beans from a pair of thugs called Jack and Jill (a wasted Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris).

With these beans, Puss hopes to grow a magic beanstalk, climb up it and steal the legendary goose that lays golden eggs. But up in the clouds, he encounters not the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk but something even more terrifying: Mother Goose.

Though Puss was an entertaining subsidiary character in Shrek 2, he fails to convince as a leading character. Heís vocally monotonous, and lacks the self-loathing complexity of Shrek and the naive charm of Donkey. Too many of the jokes depend on adult humour about his sexual prowess. And Iím unconvinced that gags about jail-rape and Fight Club have any place in a childrenís film.

The pace is crippled by inordinately lengthy exposition and repetitive use of flashbacks.

Only the eye-popping action sequences are fun, especially the climb up the beanstalk and a chase along dangerous cliffs.

Puss in Boots is blessedly less dependent on insider showbiz jokes than Shrek 3 and 4 and marks a return to the basics of the series - an irreverent take on fairy stories.

However, the script is nowhere near the quality of the first two Shrek films, seriously lacking in wit and comic punch-lines. You could even describe it as paw.

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