Friday, July 13, 2012

Puss In Boots

Starring the voice talents of Antonio Banderas, Zach Galifanakis, Salma Hayek, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, and Guillermo Del Toro

Directed by Chris Miller

Release Date: October 28th, 2011

A daring rouge with with orange fur, the outlaw known as Puss roams the country side searching for two things: money and redemption. But soon, his no good foster brother Humpty "Alexander" Dumpty (Galifanakis) has returned into his life with the score of a lifetime: magic beans. Puss wants nothing to do with Humpty, until he's convinced by the wily Kitty Softpaws (Hayek) with the trio now tracking down the infamous beans in the clutches of outlaws Jack and Jill (Thornton and Sedaris).

Puss in Boots is a spin-off of the Shrek franchise, as the character originally appeared in Shrek 2 then continued to appear in the third and fourth installments. However, I'm a little unclear how this applies to the spinoff as SPOILERS Puss is not an ogre-slayer in this movie and shows little sign of becoming an assassin. I'm not entirely sure if there will be a sequel to this film, otherwise I'm sure this was just to capitalize on the character's more positive characteristics for family audiences; none the less, that's how I see it.

What Works: Returning to play the title character, Antonio Banderas brings a lot of charm and humor to his performance. He really makes the character his own, and I never had a doubt that Banderas could carry a spin-off on his own. In addition to Banderas, we have Salma Hayek as Kitty Softpaws, Zach Galifanakis as Humpty Dumpty, Billy Bob Thornton as Jack and Amy Sedaris as Jill. For the most part, the other actors are very enjoyable in their performances and work well together. I thought Humpty Dumpty was an interesting character and I liked Kitty Softpaws.

To set this apart from the Shrek films, the filmmakers decided to invoke an 18th Century Hispanic/Spanish atmosphere into the film, from how the towns look to using Latin music on the soundtrack.  I think this actually works really well, as it makes the film create its own look and feel without relying too heavily on the Shrek films. Plus, the soundtrack brings a lot of energy and excitement to the action sequences.

What Fails: Like 99% of all Dreamworks films, Puss in Boots ends with a dance number. Can we stop this? Please come up with something new, Dreamworks; it's getting old when all the characters dance at the end. Perhaps what they should have done was add a scene to tie toward a sequel, or the Shrek films, or something. Just no more dancing.

Final Thoughts: An enjoyable action adventure film

Rating: 4 out of  5

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