When Puss In Boots (Banderas), a vigilante fighting for good, becomes embroiled in the search for magic beans, he’s thrust back alongside childhood friend Humpty Dumpty (Galifianakis) and feline acquaintance Kitty Softpaws (Hayek). Catching wind they’re in possession of murderous outlaws Jack and Jill, the trio hatch a plan to steal the beans, but even if they pull off the daunting task, planting them and what awaits atop the beanstalk means it’s only just the start of an enviable mission.
A spin-off from the Shrek franchise (though it pre-dates them as if they pleasingly never happened), Puss In Boots is far and away better than anything featuring the green ogre and feels fresh, not having to rely on pop culture references for the vast majority of the comedy. The dialogue is witty and sharp, with excellent comedic timing across the whole vocal cast.
With Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek and Zach Galifianakis all smartly playing off each other, it’s the latter who steals the show, providing many of the laughs. While the design of his character Humpty Dumpty leaves a lot to be desired, the visuals in general are fantastic too, white great animation in particular of the two central cats.
What the film boast in charm and exuberance, it sadly lacks in emotional core, and while there isn’t really any depth to the bonds formed over the 90 minutes, it’s still a great family-friendly action-comedy.
Though it’s certainly aimed largely at kids, Puss In Boots is still darker and more edgy than you might expect. There’s a surprising amount of sex-driven humour throughout, while the representation of Jack and Jill as a ragged couple, featured across the land, is marvellous.
Very well helmed by director Chris Miller, Puss In Boots is cohe sive and captivating, a world away from his only other effort, Shrek The Third, but on this form, if he returns to the swashbuckling feline world again, we’d be delighted.