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  • Jennifer Green

Review: "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish"

Shrek's charismatic cat buddy is back in fine form in this action-packed sequel. But Puss in Boots: The Last Wish might have done well to focus more on its characters, both familiar and new, and less on the non-stop action.


The chase and fight scenes are visually impressive, but, narratively, they get old quickly. What doesn't get old is Puss' smug confidence in his feline fierceness and "fearless hero" status -- or adorable newcomer Perrito's innate goodness. It's almost a let-down when the fantabulous opening musical number gives way to a traditional chase and fight scene.

The voice cast -- led by Banderas, love interest Hayek, and newcomer Guillén as the charming chihuahua -- is once again purr-fect. And the movie throws in quite a bit of Spanish in ways both natural (exclamations) and complementary (the soundtrack).


The music is one of the film's standout elements. Overseen by Brazilian composer Heitor Pereira, the soundtrack ranges from original pieces sung by Pereira and Banderas or Latin American stars like Gaby Moreno and Karol G to reworked classics, like a Spanish-infused version of The Doors' "The End" (Puss' own Apocalypse Now?).


The story's blend of fairy tale characters can be a tad confusing -- menacing villain Jack Horner, a selfish Goldilocks sometimes confused for Bo Peep, and a big bad wolf. It's part of the Shrek franchise's personality, but unrecognized characters could have functioned just as well and maybe have been less muddied, allowing even more focus on the fanciful felines.


The reality is that many viewers will come for the cat -- and this latest adventure does assure that they'll stay for the cat.

 

Read the full review at Common Sense Media.

Images courtesy of Universal Pictures.

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