Puss in Boots (PG)

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Review byMatthew Turner8/12/2011

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Entertaining spin-off enlivened by a terrific voice performance from Shrek scene-stealer Antonio Banderas and colourful animation work but the script is weak and the film blows all its best gags early on.

What's it all about?
Directed by Chris Miller, Puss in Boots is an animated spin-off from the Shrek movies (effectively it's a prequel) and stars Antonio Banderas as feline outlaw Puss in Boots, who returns to rural Spain in an attempt to clear his name. However, when he meets feisty cat burglar Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), Puss is instantly smitten and he's quickly roped into a plan cooked up by his old childhood friend Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) that involves stealing some magic beans from vicious outlaws Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris).

After planting the beans, Puss, Kitty and Humpty head up the resulting beanstalk to try and find the goose that laid the golden egg. But can Kitty and Humpty be trusted?

The Good
After stealing the second Shrek movie, Puss became something of a fan favourite, so it's a treat to see him get a film to himself and Banderas doesn't disappoint, delivering a terrific voice performance that's like a cat version of his Zorro and Desperado characters. There's also strong comic support from a purring Salma Hayek (though Kitty is rather disappointingly underwritten) while Galifianakis walks a tricky tight-rope between amusing and annoying as Humpty and just about keeps him on the right side.

The animation is lively and colourful throughout and there are several enjoyable set-pieces, most notably a roof-top chase and a flamenco dance off in a -ahem- cathouse. There are also some big laughs early on, the best of which play on the fact that Puss still behaves like a normal cat, e.g. chasing a moving point of light or drinking milk in a bar (the film's best gag).

The Bad
The main problem with the film is that it blows all its best gags early on, so there are hardly any decent laughs in the second half. Similarly, the script is fairly weak with several characters either underwritten (Kitty) or under-used (Jack and Jill) and the pacing drags as a result.

Worth seeing?
Puss in Boots is a beautifully animated, frequently entertaining adventure with a terrific performance from Antonio Banderas but it's not quite as funny or as sharply written as it should have been.

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Puss in Boots (PG)
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Content updated: 19/11/2018 04:14

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