‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’ movie review: A jolly thrill ride with eye-popping animation

Antonio Banderas is all dashing and sexily vulnerable as Puss while Salma Hayek is delightfully sassy as Kitty in ‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,’ which has eye-popping animation and suitably spectacular action

January 23, 2023 07:09 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:10 am IST

A still from ‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’

A still from ‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’ | Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

The trick to enjoying Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is to go in with zero expectations, and you will be pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable the further adventures of the swashbuckling, fugitive feline are. Like its predecessor in 2011 (that long ago!), Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, the sixth in the Shrek franchise, has delightful riffs on beloved fairytales, eye-popping animation, and suitably spectacular action.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (English)
Director: Joel Crawford
Voice cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek Pinault, Harvey Guillén, Florence Pugh, Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone, Samson Kayo, John Mulaney, Wagner Moura, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Anthony Mendez
Runtime: 102 minutes
Storyline: Puss meets bounty hunter Wolf and realises that he is down to his ninth life, with some serious stock-taking to do

Puss (Antonio Banderas) is living life king-size as usual, when comes the reckoning: a bounty hunter, Wolf (Wagner Moura), is after Puss. When Puss tells Wolf that he laughs in the face of death and wicked bounty hunters with twin, sickle-shaped blades, Wolf tells him he probably should count how many of his nine lives he has left.

A quick run through his many adventures reveals to Puss that he is down to his ninth and last life. After giving retired life with Mama Luna (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) a try on a Doctor’s (Anthony Mendez) orders, Puss decides to find a fallen star and wish his lives back.

There are as usual others after the star and it soon becomes a race to find the fallen star and make that wish. In the running are Goldilocks (Florence Pugh), the leader of Three Bears Crime Family, Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek Pinault), and Big (don’t dare call him Little) Jack Horner (John Mulaney), a pastry chef and feared crime boss. After Puss seemingly left Kitty stranded at the altar, she is also seeking the star for a wish.

Goldi is tough with an unexpected soft centre. Her adopted family, Mama (Olivia Colman), Papa (Ray Winstone) and Baby Bear (Samson Kayo) like any family, are always squabbling but will always be there for each other at a crunch.

There is Perrito, (Harvey Guillén) an unwanted dog who Puss met disguised as a cat at Mama Luna’s, and one who believes in the intrinsic goodness of people even if all he gets in return is a rock in a sock.

Jack Horner is mean and paying the world back for ignoring him — his trick of pulling out a plum had no magic and the people all drifted away towards Pinocchio (Cody Cameron), paying no heed to Jack’s insistence that he was a real boy all along.

Despite all the cautioning from the Ethical Bug (Kevin McCann), Jack with help from his evil henchmen, The Bakers Dozen, wants to get to the star to get all magic for himself.

The voice work is excellent. Banderas is all dashing and sexily vulnerable as Puss while Pinault is delightfully sassy. The jokes and life lessons come thick and fast. From Jack’s Nanny magic bag stuffed with enchanted things and Perrito trying to make cute kitty eyes, to all the punchy pop-cult zingers, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is a jolly thrill ride.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is currently running in theatres

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