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Puss in Boots – The Last Wish or Not?

Written by Omair Alavi

With the introduction of a Death-like character, the producers of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish help it make the ‘purr-fect’ comeback

With the introduction of a Death-like character, the producers of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish help it make the ‘purr-fect’ comeback

Nineteen years after making his debut in Shrek 2, and nearly a dozen years after appearing in his own spin-off, Puss in Boots is back again, but this time, he doesn’t have the luxury of his other lives for a change. In normal circumstances, that would not have been ideal, but in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, that one change makes the film all the more interesting. With director Joel Crawford and co-director Januel Mercado at the helm, the return to the animated ‘Shrekverse’ manages to make the audience feel nostalgic, as well as take a sneak peek into the future where a one-life Puss in Boots is more dangerous than all of his nemesis, combined.

The Plot

Puss in Boots (voiced by Antonio Banderas) is not just an adventurous cat but a legendary feline who always saves his fandom from trouble, even though the trouble might have been caused partly by him. After losing his eighth life while saving his town from a disaster created by him, the village doctor advises the swashbuckling hero to hang his boots literally. Still, Puss doesn’t take the advice seriously and goes on his own until he meets the Big Bad Wolf (Wagner Moura), who inflicts the first defeat of Puss’ career in a local pub.

The embarrassment of losing his maiden fight causes Puss to accept his vulnerability and ‘retire’ for good but when an opportunity to restore his previous lives presents itself, he makes a comeback, joining hands with former partner in crime Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek Pinault) and a dog disguised as a cat (Harvey Guillén). Will Puss in Boots succeed in getting his lives back or will the Big Bad Wolf, ‘Big’ Jack Horner (John Mulaney) and Goldilocks (Florence Pugh), and the Three Bears (Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone, and Samson Kayo), succeed in capturing him and claim the bounty on his head, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is all about the race against time.

The Good

The best thing about Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is Antonio Banderas who makes a triumphant return as the voice of the titular character, and gives a purr-fect performance. Not only is he on top of his game, but he also doesn’t make the audience realize that it has been more than a decade since his last adventure. Add to that the vocal talents of his frequent costar Salma Hayek Pinault and you have a deadly combination that is bigger than an animated movie. The two manage to raise the bar higher where the action is more on the lines of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse than the Shrek franchise, where the audience is involved from the first frame till the last, and where both the young and old generations have something to cherish.

Hardly any scene seems out of place in this 100-minute extravaganza where fairy tale characters do ‘unfairy’ kind of stuff, which doesn’t surprise the audience much. Not only do the artists lend their vocals to these characters perfectly, but their facial and vocal expressions are also as per the characteristics. One must mention Harvey Guillén’s contribution to the sequel without which this flick might not have been able to take the series forward. He has the best lines, the best backstory and if it is handled well, he might go on to become the best side character in the universe that also gave the audience the Donkey in Shrek and the penguins in Madagascar to name a few.

The Bad

Too many characters spoil Puss in Boots: The Last Wish for the audience and while the plot deserved many villains, some of them could have had a cameo instead of a full-fledged backstory, a present and a future for which they were competing against each other. The script doesn’t deviate from the main story but yes, when the other villains came forward, it sort of lessened the importance of the Big Bad Wolf who sent shivers whenever he came on screen, and not only Puss was afraid of him, many in the audience were. Also, the action scenes were scattered here and there instead of linked together which sort of bored those in the audience who wanted more action, and less dialogue in this Puss in Boots adventure.

The Verdict 3.5/5

It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that with the release of The Bad Guys and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, DreamWorks has made a successful comeback in 2022, one that will see them produce more quality stuff in the coming days. The makers impressed the audience with the way they handled the gap between the two Puss in Boots films, and while that wouldn’t have been an issue had the sequel followed the original a couple of years later, the more-than-a-decade gap was a challenge, which was met successfully, partly because many in the audience have been watching Puss in Boots on OTT platforms.

By being more mature than its predecessor, the Puss in Boots sequel has withstood the wave of Avatar: The Way of Water’s success which is nothing short of an achievement. Who knows the audience might be treated to an origin flick about Goldilocks and the Three Bears, or get to meet the Big Bad Wolf terrorizing another fairytale character because these two left an imprint into the audience’s mind by being fresh, and different. As for the Puss in Boots, it seems that hanging his boots is not on his agenda anymore. After all, he is everyone’s favorite fearless hero!

About the author

Omair Alavi

Omair Alavi is a highly regarded journalist, critic, and commentator, specializing in news, sports, showbiz, film, blogs, articles, drama, reviews, and PTV drama. With extensive experience and a keen eye for storytelling, he captivates audiences with his insightful analysis and compelling presentations. His expertise and contributions have made him a prominent figure in the media and entertainment industry.