Review: ‘Puss in Boots’

Nov. 4, 2011, 12:30 a.m.

Remember the bad kitty from the “Shrek” series? The Puss is back in town and this time with his own film. In this prequel to “Shrek,” Puss meets his pretty, fencing challenger Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), and the story unfolds from there. With plots full of twists and turns, much dancing and fencing and wild adventures, “Puss in Boots” would be one of the best animation movies of the year if only it had slowed its pace down a bit to let the audience breathe.

It all begins with Puss (Antonio Banderas), a notorious outlaw. With his boots and sword, Puss is a legend feared by many. However, corrupt as he is, he’s actually forced to live like this by his best friend – or, more accurately, his sworn brother from childhood – Humpty Alexander Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis), a funny-looking egg with four skinny limbs who has tricked Puss into a robbery that cost Puss everything he has ever cared for. Thus, it’s quite a surprise when old pal Humpty Dumpty reappears in front him with a beautiful, top-notch thief, Kitty Softpaws, and a great dream he cannot realize without the help of Puss – to plant the world-changing magic beans, grow the vines and finally get the golden eggs from the top. Angry with Dumpty’s past betrayal, Puss refuses to join at first. But Puss is too nice of a cat and eventually agrees. Together, the trio begins their mission, experiencing grave danger as well as great fun, and Puss, of course, saves the day.

As a cute children’s movie coming out with the Thanksgiving wave of films, “Puss in Boots” has everything that is expected of it – the plot is packed with all kinds of ingredients: sword fights, kitty chases, horse chases, you name it. Nevertheless, the plot does wear a bit too thin near the end from an adult’s perspective, but for a kids’ movie, can we really complain about characters’ incredible simple-mindedness? Overall, the 90 minutes is never boring, because the movie is rarely without some sort of action – maybe even a bit too much.

In all, those Puss in Boots fans out there don’t need to worry, because you will not be disappointed; all the polish of Shrek’s cool sidekick is completely preserved, if not overblown, in this prequel. Puss is full of charisma, especially with the voice Spanish actor Antonio Banderas. Although this movie is another spin-off of the already large “Shrek” series, it does its entertainment job just fine. It’s not as over-the-top awesome as “Kung Fu Panda 2,” but “Puss in Boots” is definitely worth the trip to the movie theater.

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