Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

For me personally, those ‘Shrek’ movies have been declining in entertainment value, at least linearly, since the first one. We’re thankful it wasn’t an exponential decline… knew those math classes would come in handy one day. The second Shrek did introduce the media masses to the Antonio Banderas voiced swashbuckling feline ‘Puss in Boots’ and since Puss was pretty funny and stuff, it was just a matter of time until he got his own movie. As it turns out ‘Puss in Boots’ is pretty darned entertaining, certainly more entertaining than the last three ‘Shrek’ movies. And the Christmas special ‘Shrek The Halls’. And the Halloween special ‘Scared Shrekless’. If there’s any way Dreamworks can squeeze a few more bucks out of this franchise I’m pretty sure that ‘Shrek Arbor Day’ and ‘Shrek does MLK’ are in the pipeline even as we speak.

Before Puss became the calm, wise, sage dispenser of heavily accented knowledge that we know and love right now, he once was one swashbuckling rouge of a kitty, a lover of women… as he will constantly remind us… and a liberator of expensive goods. After enjoying a glass of leche at this dusty Mexican cantina, Puss gets the word that the scurrilous Jack (Billy Bob Thornton) and Jill (Amy Sedaris) are in possession of the mythical magical beans of legend, beans that Puss has been searching for the majority of his nine lives. The thing is when Puss makes his way to steal the beans, another thief in the form of the beautiful Kitty White Paws (Salma Hayek) is already there, and a glorious dance battle shall ensue.

While that was exciting and all, it was actually just a ruse setup by Puss’ old childhood friend Humpty Alexander Dumpty (Zach Galafianakis) who needs Puss, and his particular swashbuckling skill set, for his heist of the millennia. But Puss doesn’t like Humpty all that much anymore because Puss blames Humpty, and his perceived betrayal of him, as the main reason that Puss is on the run right now.

But being as how this opportunity could help Puss make things right with his old home town, an opportunity having something to do with beanstalks and geese that lay golden

eggs, and being as how Kitty is hot and all, and because Humpty and Puss used to be boys back in the day… Puss is on board and swashbuckling adventure is sure to be afoot.

But all you really have to do is take one look at that egg to know that he doesn’t seem all that trustworthy and surprises of surprises, the double cross is on. But I’m thinking with a little patience, true friendship, true love… or as true as a lover of many, many women can show true love… and let’s not forget mad swashbuckling, will somehow rise to the top, and save the day.

Hard as I might try, I can’t find much to dislike about Dreamworks ‘Puss in Boots’. Well, that’s not completely true since I found the 3D to be next to worthless, but then this pretty much applies to almost every 3D enhanced movie I have to sit through. Antonio Banderas sounds like he’s having the time of his life voicing Puss, as every single syllable that flows out of his mouth is dripping with overblown Latin Lover Bravado, and somewhere in the universe Fernando Lamas has to be smiling that his spirit lives on, albeit in an animated cat that doesn’t really exist.

Those of us out there with short attention spans shouldn’t have to worry too much while watching this movie because rarely does ‘Puss in Boots’ slow down long enough to allow your mind to wander and do stuff like check your watch or read text messages on your phone. Stop doing that at the theater by the way. Please. I’m begging you. But when Puss isn’t sword fighting or flamenco dancing or engaged in some over the top chase sequence, he’s telling a long, drawn out story that usually involves sword fighting, bull wrangling or some over the top chase scene. Some may call this ‘busy’ or ‘action overload’. We call it ‘keeping the audience engaged and off their cell phones checking text messages’. That’s we call it. Stop doing that by the way.

The animation, like most Dreamworks animated films, is stellar. Pixar might make better movies, but they sure don’t make better looking movies. In fact I’m upset at myself for choosing to watch this in 3D… The screening left me no choice… because I’m of the opinion that you lose some of the colorful detail in 3D and one would be much better served watching this in regular old tired 2D if you were to ask me. There I go railing on 3D again.

The voice acting, in addition to Antonio Banderas, was very good with the only thing being a little odd is that Salma Hayek’s accent for Kitty White Paws seem to fade in out. I mean Salma is Mexican, born and raised, she naturally speaks English with a Hispanic accent but every once in a while it sounded like Kitty was speaking the Queen’s English, so I don’t know. Probably just me imagining things again.

The story is very simple, very easy to follow, and also very predictable, but amidst the predictable storyline there are a number of clever quips and tidbits strewn across the running time to keep your brain from dulling, and at the screener I attended I would have to say that parents and children alike seemed to be having a grand old time. Don’t know about teenagers because… well… they’re weird. But if you’re not a teenager searching for angst ridden, slow moving, boring vampire stories, you really can’t really go wrong ‘Puss in Boots’.

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