Friday, May 18, 2012

Puss In Boots (Chris Miller, 2011) Review

Sometimes a franchise just goes too far. Indiana Jones, Star Wars and soon to be Toy Story (yes a fourth one...I'm have no high hopes for it. The ending of the third one was perfect...but that's another story) but one would think that having another Shrek film would be a bad thing. The first two were great, the third one was bad and the fourth was sub-par so with a spin-off released you can guess how I feel about Puss In Boots...It's brilliant.

As you would expect, Antonio Banderas reprises his role as Puss In Boots from the previous Shrek films now accompanied by new characters that are specific to this spin-of: Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), Humpty Dumpty (Zach  Galifianakis ) and Jack & Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris respectively). These new characters fit in well into the Shrek universe that takes classic fairy tale characters and giving them new characteristics (who would have envisioned Jack & Jill as a couple of outlaws?) and are great and very likeable.

The plot for this film is actually well written. Taking place before Puss' d├ębut in Shrek 2, Puss is an outlaw from a village called San Ricardo who is out to obtain the magic beans of Jack and the Beanstalk legend which is currently in the possession of the notorious bandit couple, Jack & Jill. On one raid he runs into Kitty Softpaws, another feline thief, who takes him to see Humpty Dumpty, his best friend from the orphanage in San Richardo. They form a pact to get the beans and raise the beanstalk.

Puss In Boots has one major plus going for it. Despite being part of the Shrek franchise, it stands well on its own and it isn't necessary to watch all the other Shrek films (Which is good considering the last two don't hold up). There is no references to the previous films or no cameo from any other Shrek characters so I guess if you never heard of Shrek...if anyone hasn't...then you can still watch this film and get the most out of it.

The humour of this film is mostly for a select audience - Cat owners. Good for me seeing as I am one. Despite the fact that Puss and other characters are anthropomorphic, there are a lot of moments that poke fun at the mannerisms of cats. Trust me, it's accurate. Batting things, distracted by moving small lights (such as a laser pointer) and also some of the dance moves in Glitter Box club (yes that is actually what it's called).

Puss In Boots is a great film that holds up on it's own. The humour is well written by people that clearly own cats and even answers a few enigma codes from previous films (such as why Puss is first introduced in Shrek 2 in the bad guy's bar).

Verdict:
8.5/10
One of the best films in the Shrek series that actual manages to separate itself from the rest of the franchise and stand on it's own.

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