Think back a few years, seven to be exact, when “Shrek 2” was released and we first met Puss in Boots. Remember thinking how great he was and how awesome it’d be if someday he’d get his own spin-off movie? Be careful what you wish for.
Antonio Banderas is back as the cute kitty with a Zorro-complex. This time, without Donkey as a verbal sparring partner, we get Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis). They grew up in an orphanage together and reunite to steal Jack’s magic beans from terrible twosome Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris).
Our hero also gets a love interest this time around, a black tabby voiced by Salma Hayak. After stealing the beans the three race up the beanstalk and steal the Golden Goose. As you can imagine things don’t go quite as planned and upon returning from the castle in the clouds with the goose things go from bad to worse.
“Puss in Boots” is a decent enough film but lacks the charm and humor that its predecessor “Shrek” or even “Shrek 2” had. (I’m going to go ahead and pretend that “Shrek’s 3” and “4” don’t exist.) The script is mediocre and has few laughs for anyone over the age of eight.
Puss is a fine character but works better as a sidekick. Sadly, the latin lothario feline can’t hold an entire audiences attention for a feature-length film. All this movie made me do was miss Donkey, and Gingy, and the rest of the swamp.
It’s a Dreamworks film so the animation is top-notch. Plus, the series continues at attract big-name stars that are good voice actors, so if you do get dragged into the theaters by your munchkins it won’t be a total waste.
What we all loved about the first “Shrek” films was that they took fairy tale characters that we already know and love and infused them with new humor and enough pop culture references to make them seem new. “Puss” takes those characters but forgets the add the humor.
Maybe it comes down to the fact that I’m just not a cat person, but “Puss in Boots” was a huge let-down. Though maybe not a surprise after the hideous mess that was “Shrek 4.” (Which I’m still pretending doesn’t exist.)