A meow-sterpiece! Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is a meow-velous delight from start to finish!
We review the Dreamworks film Puss in Boots: The Last Wish does not contain spoilers.
It has been a long decade since Fiona’s father hired Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) to hunt down our beloved green monster, Shrek. As soon as he jumped out of his famous footwear, sprang those claws, and interrupted his famous catchphrase for a hilarious hairball, the magnetic feline has been a beloved character in animated movies. It’s a wonder why DreamWorks waited so long. After appearing in two Shrek films and the stand-alone spinoff, to greenlight another installment of adorable machismo cuteness. And they accomplish that sentiment with Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. An animated film that is a meow-velous delight from start to finish.
The Puss in Boots franchise picks up where the feisty feline’s taste for adventure has never died. He had taken over a castle taken up by a man of royal status. (My guess is this was a Frenchman when France colonized Spain in the early 19th century). He steals from the rich and gives back to the poor. Unfortunately, when the royalty wanders home with his pudgy midsection and faux white locks from an exquisitely crafted periwig, Frisky Two Times must run for it. As he does, with more flair than the Nature Boy with his scintillating charango playing, he escapes. All while downing some shots of Leche and saving the town from a tree monster awakened by a series of fireworks set off with a whopping helping of gusto.
However, after years of adventures and a passion for life, our Diablo Gato has used up eight of his nine lives during all those epic journeys. Our feline friend refuses to turn in his fine Carinthian leather footwear, put away his rapier, and hang up his cavalier hat. That is until a big, evil wolf bounty hunter (Wagner Moura) shows up. They want to take Puss down, dead or alive. And, he would prefer dead. Frightened for the first time, he takes off searching for the Last Wish, where he can restore his nine lives. Of course, he isn’t the only one searching for this myth in the dark forest. Puss in Boots will run into new foes and old friends and make a loveable new one along with way.
And that’s where Joel Crawford‘s (The Crood’s: A New Age) film shines. Besides Banderas’s flawless comedic delivery, you have the return of the world’s most famous Tuxedo cat, Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), and their chemistry is terrific. You have classic fairy tale characters given creative spins, for which the Shrek franchise is known. Goldilocks (voiced by Florence Pugh) and the three bears (voiced by an incredible lineup of Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone, and Samson Kayo) with selfish intentions, but their story has sweet themes behind them.
Then you have the deliciously evil Jack Horner (John Mulaney, overdoing it as only he can). He is now grown up, still sticking his thumb in pies where it doesn’t belong. You even have some fine touches from Paul Fisher’s funny and touching script. For example, the hilarious and scene-stealing “ethical bug,” voiced by Kevin McCann, gives the film an underlying humor that compliments the film perfectly. However, the breakout character is Reacher‘s Harvey Guillen as Perro, a charming and eternal optimist whose primary goal is to become a therapy dog. Guillen makes a character that could have been cliche and tired, fresh and new again. Expect spinoffs, including specials and streaming series, for Perro in the near future.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is an unexpected treat. With an eye-catching and risky choice of combining 2D and 3D animation, this installment of the Stabby Tabby is a serendipitous surprise. And a welcomed one at that. With a combination of meaningful themes and a wonderful sense of humor, this is a perfect family film for parents and little ones over the holidays.
You might say, an animated meow-sterpiece.
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