Starring Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Constance Marie, Guillermo del Toro, Mike Mitchell, Rich Dietl, Ryan Crego, Tom Wheeler, Conrad Vernon
Directed by Chris Miller
Expectations: Moderately high. I had no interest, and then I got talked into watching it because I love cats.
While watching Puss in Boots I didn’t take a single note. This wasn’t intentional, and I didn’t even notice until the movie was almost complete. This was because absolutely nothing in this film engaged me or seemed noteworthy. Puss in Boots has its crowd I’m sure, but I am definitely not a member; I could barely keep myself awake. I know this one is aimed at those younger than me (even if some jokes are clearly for the parents), but I would imagine that even as a kid I wouldn’t have enjoyed this one. The only coherent thought I had while watching (other than “How much longer is this damn movie?”) was “Y’see this is why I made a deal with myself only to watch Pixar’s 3D animated films.”
Let me explain. When Pixar dropped Toy Story on the world, it was a revelation. Soon after, loads of other studios sprang up and tried to recapture Pixar’s magic, but as far as I was concerned no one did. I got tired of getting burned by shitty knock-offs, so I decided to only watch Pixar films. Then they burned me with overblown tripe like The Incredibles (yeah, you read that right Incredibles lovers). So after that I decided to only watch the ones that really piqued my interest: Wall-E, Up, etc. But I was talked into watching Puss in Boots because of my love of cats. This movie centers around a cat, and there’s other cats that do a bunch of cat stuff too! If only.
Sure, the first few minutes are fairly cat-centric, as are a few scenes here and there, but for the most part Puss and his feline girlfriend act like a bickering married couple. On top of that, there’s a carton full of drama delivered by the relationship between Puss and Humpty Dumpty. How many times do I have to see them argue about their differences and then reconcile only to argue about the same thing a few minutes later? This aspect of Puss in Boots was nearly unbearable.
I’ve wasted enough time on this one. I’m sure many will enjoy this film, and kids will laugh at all the right places. In my eyes, it’s nothing more than a lackluster attempt to keep the Shrek franchise from fully sinking out of the public’s consciousness now that the main series films are done. Well… done until the spin-offs’ box-office numbers drop and they’re forced to resurrect the tired green ogre. (And just for the record I’ve only seen the first two Shrek films. That was more than enough for me.)