Voiceovers: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek and Zach Galifianakis; Director: Chris Miller; Rating: *** – Fun but not enough.
It is rare in the echelons of cinema that a side character in a famous film gets a part in a full-fledged film. It’s rarer still that a side character from the sequel of the original gets a full feature.
The pussy from ‘Shrek 2’, called Puss in Boots, gets that honour with a full feature dedicated to him and though this is not exactly Shrek territory despite desperate attempt, it is fun nonetheless.
Puss in Boots, a ferocious feline, becomes a much wanted and hunted outlaw after he is tricked by his best friend Humpty Alexander Dumpty, the egg. Puss roams the land trying to find the means to clear his name.
The past catches up with him as Humpty Dumpty, aided by a feminine feline, gets Puss involved in their plan to steal golden eggs.
The first part of ‘Shrek’ did a fabulous job of rearranging well-known fairy tales and twisting them on the head to make a hilarious cocktail whose trick lay in defying expectations.
It is obvious that there is only so much that can be done with this rearrangement as the sequels of ‘Shrek’ have shown. ‘Puss In Boots’ is no different.
Though there are moments of the spunk and originality of ‘Shrek’, they are too scattered and far between to work for the entire film.
What you have instead is half of what the film could have been. However, the detailed animation work and visual dazzle never lets the pace down.
What is, however, not so delightful is that the one element that made the character of Puss so popular in ‘Shrek 2’, his cute face behind big black eyes, is hardly used in the film.
Thus Puss has the wit and fighting skills of a cowboy, but not as much of the cuteness that made him so adorable in the first place.
This, however, does not take away from the merits of the film, especially for cat lovers.
It rearranges cat cliches in a delightful jamboree that will thrill those who adore the little feline creature.
Antonio Banderas voices Puss while Salma Hayek does the same for the female cat, Kitty. The chemistry of the two cats in the film is adorable.
In the end, despite trying to weave a believable story using well-known fables like that of Jack and Jill, magic beans and the golden goose, it’s not quirky enough to have the fun element that made ‘Shrek’ so much entertaining.
It is still a fun one-time watch.