Shrek may have run his course years ago, but his furry Antonio Banderas-sounding friend Puss in Boots gets another life in... Puss in Boots, an animated comedy adventure that is thankfully nothing like Shrek. Funny, witty and original, Puss in Boots is a surprisingly entertaining and fun flick kids, parents and everyone in between will enjoy.
Puss in Boots is no longer stranded in The Kingdom of Far Far Away, but rather in Mexico, where he is both an outlaw and a hero, not unlike Zorro (except he's smaller, fuzzier and loves milk). There, he reunites with his less than trustworthy old friend Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) and the egg's cohort Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) to find the magical beans that will lead them to the golden goose. Standing in their way: Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris), two seedy criminals who have other plans for the beans.
In that way, Puss in Boots is a lot like huevos rancheros. They're a lot like your average scrambled eggs, only with a Mexican flavor.
On second thought, Humpty Dumpty probably won't like that analogy.
Based on a story by William Davies (How to Train Your Dragon) and a screenplay by Tom Wheeler (nothing of consequence), Puss in Boots is a refreshing blend of fairy tale and western. The movie has sharp dialogue and a creative story, which is more than can be said about director Chris Miller's last venture, Shrek the Third.
The action is fun and exciting, full of wagon chases, swordfights, dance-offs and giant, angry gooses. Miller and crew keep things interesting by letting the film evolve throughout; it begins as a western, turns into a fairy tale adventure and then climaxes with a combination of the two.
Puss in Boots isn't as a good as 2011's other animated western comedy Rango, but it stands on its own as a fun adventure that deserves greater recognition than what it received domestically.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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