A delightful animated film that offers fast-paced humour, elaborate visuals, and strong voice.
Puss in Boots The Last Wish movie review: Dreamworks also puts story here above style, not aiming to impress by going all life-like but deliberately evoking those fairy tales where we hit reboot to life.
Goldilocks isn’t the only one who wants a “just right”, is it? Who doesn’t?
Bringing the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story into the tale of the legendary cat who just can’t have enough, Dreamworks has a winner that thrills your heart and warms it too, and even leaves you a bit misty-eyed.
There is a message here both for the kids looking for the magic, and the adults who stopped looking for it. Plus, it all comes wrapped up in those familiar fairy tales evocative of long cosy nights tucked in bed, when you disappeared eyes open into different worlds.
As the story goes, Puss in Boots (a fabulous unmatchable Banderas) is having one of his singing-swashbuckling-showboating moments when death strikes. A doctor reminds him when he wakes up that it marked his eighth death, and even a heroic cat can only have nine.
Now that he is trailed by death, can Puss be the hero he imagines himself to be? He fears he can’t, and so looks for an answer in a fallen star with the power to grant a wish.
The others who are trying to make their way to it include Kitty Softpaws (also making a return from the first film, again in Hayek’s voice), and Goldilocks (Pugh) and her three-bear family that fancies itself as a Mafiosi (much to the regret of Mama Bear, voiced by Coleman; while all Papa Bear, Winstone himself, wants is to hibernate).
There is also Jack Horner (Mulaney) who has come out of his corner, acquired the Baker’s Dozen and many magical accoutrements, as he tries to outlive his past.
A standout in this (as the film intends) is a lonely, not-so-cuddly mutt (Guillen), who only wants a family and latches onto Puss at a cat rescue shelter.
There are life lessons to be learnt here on way to the Dark Forest and that star with the wish. About how one leads one’s life, what things one values, the things one sees and what one doesn’t, and love and family.
Many an animation has trod this territory before. But the light-assured grace of The Last Wish, the purry sexiness of Banderas and Hayek (the way she says Puss deserves a separate write-up), the family fractiousness of Goldi and the Bears, and the menace of Death (a hissing Moura) lift this one — directed by Joel Crawford — a notch above.
It’s still a happy ending. But for the ever afters, as one character tells another, “adjust the view”.
Puss in Boots The Last Wish movie cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek Pinault, Florence Pugh, Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, John Mulaney
Puss in Boots The Last Wish movie director: Joel Crawford
Puss in Boots The Last Wish movie rating: 3.5 stars