Heather's DVD Review: Puss in Boots
Is possible for an animated spin-off to capitalize on the success from its originating movie franchise? That's the ultimate test with the new movie Puss in Boots, now on DVD, which attempted to make a popular supporting character from the Shrek films a bigger cartoon star than the infamous ogre. Sadly, the results were more mixed than promising.
Puss in Boots followed the titled character (Antonio Banderas) on a quest for redemption while he stole the hearts of fellow felines and from the wallets of the wealthy. He suddenly gets an opportunity to earn his redemption when he is tasked with stealing three magic beans from the dangerous Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris). Unfortunately, he has to place trust in the one person who betrayed him the most: his former best friend Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis). Humpty told Puss the tale of the magic beans and their magical powers of the beanstalk that grows from them that led to the golden goose and a way to play back their hometown after stealing their money. Puss also meets his match in fellow thief Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) who could tame even him or hurt him in the end. Will Puss get his redemption or will someone else come along to snatch it from him?
In terms of plot, the story of Puss in Boots' humble beginnings gave off a faint vibe of Zorro, except for the fact that pretty much his identity was never a kept secret. Sadly, the movie lost its way a few times with a few scene detours and one too many plot twists that hindered the ending a little bit. There was also no real clear villain for Puss to fight against, which alos made the story a litle muddled at the same time. Overall, kids will enjoy watching the movie, while some adults may be looking at the clock more times than they can count.
When Banderas' character was introduced in Shrek 2 in 2004, he became the ultimate sparring partner for Eddie Murphy's verbose Donkey and satirized his Latin lover persona for laughs. It worked in the last three Shrek movies, but it fell flat this time around because Banderas lacked a true on-camera sparring partner like Murphy. Sure, Hayek and Banderas have proven to have chemistry in their previous films (Desperado etc), but it was misplaced this time around. The audience wanted Kitty and Puss together from their first scene. It was a given. What was a miss was that Banderas and Galifianakis didn't seem to match up too well on-screen. Galifianakis' best comedy is more for the R-Rated crowd than the PG set. He should stick with choosing films where he can literally let all hang out on-screen. Could a sequel still be worth seeing if one is made? Maybe, if the story is done right with a clearer villain and a cameo from Eddie Murphy to shake things up. Now, that would be worth spending $10 to see at the movies.
Verdict: An entertaining spin-off, but it doesn't have the same effect that Shrek once had.
DVD Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Movie Rating: PG
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)