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Puss in Boots - Review

Puss in Boots

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

FOR many Shrek fans the real star of the franchise has been the charismatic Puss in Boots, so it should come as no surprise that the cheeky feline swashbuckler has landed his own movie.

The ensuing animation is a mostly enjoyable romp that serves as a prequel to the Shrek franchise, while providing a keen mix of jokes and set pieces that can appeal to viewers young and old.

The film follows the fortunes of Puss (once again voiced in his own inimitable style by Antonio Banderas) during the days he was a roving outlaw and thief, haunted by memories of betrayal by his best friend Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) and looking for a way to clear his name with the help of a feisty female ally named Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek).

Early on, especially, Chris Miller’s film is rife with cracking jokes, whether visual or scripted, that serve to embellish and enhance the legend surrounding this enigmatic central character.

Gags involving a cats’ love for moving lights and milk are well realised, as is a rooftop chase sequence between Puss and Kitty that culminates in a rather inspired dance-off (with the music being supplied by superb Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela).

Once the main plot kicks in, and Humpty Dumpty is given more to do, things become a little bogged down and pedestrian, but Banderas and Hayek still continue to provide a feisty double act that suggests more adventures of their own wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Miller, too, ensures that the film maintains a nice balance between the fairytale referencing and revising that’s synonymous with the Shrek franchise, while avoiding too many pop culture references that sometimes mar DreamWorks Animation movies.

And while some of the jokes may seem a little sexual in nature, they’re delivered in such a way that the adults will get them and the kids won’t be too bemused.

As ever with animation, the 3D works best in enhancing the visuals without becoming too gimmicky, and the production values are typically high. It’s clear that this is a labour of love designed to further the adventures of Puss that has every chance of doing so.

Certificate: U
Running time: 90mins
UK Release Date: December 9, 2011