Director: Chris Miller
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Zach Galifianakis, Salma Hayek, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris
Screenplay: Tom Wheeler
90 mins. Rated PG for some adventure action and mild rude humor.
- Academy Award Nominee: Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Not too long after the completion (for now) of the Shrek franchise, Dreamworks got the bright idea to expand the slightly off-kilter world of fairy tales by telling an origin story of one of the favorite side characters, Puss in Boots.
In 2011’s Puss in Boots, we meet Puss (voiced by Antonio Banderas, Desperado, The Spongebob Squarepants Movie: Sponge Out of Water) during his dark days of hunting for bounty, when he is enlisted by old thief and ex-confidante Humpty Alexander Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis, The Hangover, Birdman) to steal a golden goose. He is aided in this effort by Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek, Frida, Grown Ups 2), a silent but deadly assassin and thief. Matters are further complicated by the bandits Jack (Billy Bob Thornton, Armageddon, The Judge) and Jill (Amy Sedaris, TV’s Bojack Horseman, Strangers with Candy), who want the goose eggs all for themselves.
This movie plays out its one trick, and its one trick is played out pretty well. The one trick referenced here is the “he’s a cat” joke. We have seen the cutesy work before with the dough eyes to escape torture or the way he drinks his milk. It is funny, but by the time the film comes to an end, we as viewers understand why Puss in Boots has always been a side character.
The references to the fairy tales upon which these characters are based work pretty well, too, but not for children. This is the candy for the adults, and in that way, I feel like Puss in Boots was merely stuck in its place by not knowing its audience. It spends equal parts trying to please everyone with cheap jokes. Now, I liked the movie, but it didn’t stand up with the first two Shrek films.
See Puss in Boots, it has the ability to make you love it, but it also has the ability to annoy you away. Take the chance but not a guarantee.
-Kyle A. Goethe
For my review of Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson’s Shrek, click here.