For me, the Shrek movies have been something of an over-rated phenomenon. The introduction of Puss In Boots did improve matters at first, but he has been a very one-note character; He’s a badass Zorro, but sooooo cuuuuute… And that’s it. So my hopes weren’t high for this spin-off movie. And yet, somehow, it’s fantastic.
The character is nicely fleshed out here, with a decent backstory and a truly emotional journey involving a childhood friendship with Humpty “Alexander” Dumpty. From the off, the comedy beats are spot-on. Western clichés are turned on their head, dramatic moments comically undermined by Puss’s cat traits, and some superbly choreographed dancing and fighting.
Antonio Banderas has the perfect voice for such a smooth character and Salma Hayek proves to be more than a pretty face, giving Puss a credible rival/love interest in the equally intriguing Kitty Soft Paws.
The Shrek franchise may well have run its course, but I suspect that Puss may still have a few of his nine lives left to share with us.