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Puss in Boots: The Last Wish review - thrilling adventure with Antonio Banderas | reviews, news & interviews

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish review - thrilling adventure with Antonio Banderas

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish review - thrilling adventure with Antonio Banderas

Computer-animated fun

Puss in Boots, Perrito and Kitty Softpaws

The Shrek universe expands a little more with Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, another computer-animated family film from DreamWorks, with Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek Pinnault reprising their roles as Puss and his frenemy Kitty Softclaws. Directors Joel Crawford and Januel Mercado serve up a treat, one worthy of its Oscar nod for best animated feature.

As with all the Shrek Cinematic Universe output, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish subverts fairytales and nursery rhymes while telling its story, and part of the fun is seeing which the writers Paul Fisher, Tommy Swerdlow and Tom Wheeler plunder and then reimagine for modern audiences. Some references are simply to make a gag (the movie is stuffed full of them), while others make a nod to serious points such as the importance of loyalty or how ageing and death are realities of life.

The story centres on Puss, who with horror realises that he is on the last of his nine lives and, using a map filled with riddles, has to find a wishing star to restore them. But before he can reach it he is stalked by death, here given the form of a big, bad Wolf (Wagner Moura). Also involved in Puss's adventure are Goldi (Florence Pugh) and the three bears (Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone and Samson Kayo) – reimagined as a cockney crime family – and Big Jack Horner (John Mulaney), as an immensely greedy hoarder of all things magical which might help the assorted cast get to the wishing star before Puss does. It's a clever conceit.

The film starts with a lengthy sequence in which our hero performs yet more acts of derring do in defeating a giant and is everyone's hero. Then, because he's a player, he parties till dawn – keep that full-cream milk coming – but realises time is catching up with him. His journey begins to find the wishing star, but of course he faces any number of obstacles – with the Wolf stalking his every move.

Along the way Puss teams up with former paramour Kitty Softpaws (cue some outrageous feline flirting), and Perrito (Harvey Guillén), an adorable runt of the litter who attaches himself to the two cats whether they want him to or not. His naivety is touching – he thinks being thrown in a rubbish bin was his family's version of hide and seek – but Perrito turns out to be strong and brave when Puss needs him most, one of the many life lessons subtly parlayed in this film.

The animation style is warm and uses high colour, the film's visual richness giving the impression almost that we're stepping into a picture book. It's very appealing.

Puss with horror realises that he is on the last of his nine lives

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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