The swashbuckling ginger cat with a gravelly voice and an attitude to boot might have first shown up in the Shrek movies, but he finally gets his place in the sun as the charming lead of Puss in Boots.
Antonio Banderas returns to lend his growly Spanish purr to our Zorro-like tabby cat-hero, who’s very sure of himself and his seductive ways with female felines, until he meets his match in Kitty Softpaws, a formidable pussy voiced by Salma Hayek. Sparks fly between the two from the very moment they compete in a thrilling dance-off that’ll have you cheering for more.
We’re also introduced to our hero’s best friend from childhood, Humpty Dumpty (voiced by Zach Galifianakis), who was like a brother to Puss when they were raised together at an orphanage, until Humpty betrayed him. He’s back now, seeking forgiveness and Puss’ help in stealing some magic beans that will send them up a giant beanstalk to get their hands on a coveted goose that lays gold eggs.
This is an enjoyable adventure with lots of frenetic moments and some witty banter between the three protagonists. Like the Shrek movies, this film too cheerfully references a few popular fairytales including Jack and Jill, and Jack and the Beanstalk. It’s also visually rich – likely to be best enjoyed in 2D – and consistently amusing, though not in a laugh-out-loud way.
I’m going with three-and-a-half out of five for Puss in Boots. This is one cool cat, and it’s a good thing he got his own movie!