You know, after the roller-coaster ride of very good, mildly good, or horrifically bad the Shrek movies have been, this was a surprisingly refreshing and enjoyable film. When I first saw the previews, I thought it was going to be stupid beyond reason. But this film was silly, but at the same time, overly serious to the point where the silliness is endearing. Every character in this film was well-cast, and it was a rather good thing to be done for a character who was very good from Shrek 2.
On that note, this character first came to light in the film Shrek 2. This was one of the sequels that was better than the original on every front. The jokes were better, the characters were better, the plot was better. Part of what made that film so good was the addition of Puss in Boots. Played by Antonio Banderas, this was a big pun at his role in the Zorro movies. It almost tells how you can hear that Banderas is having fun with this. Mocking his previous roles, but doing so with adorable style and grace.
This brings us to this film. Here, Puss is back, only this time, he is on his own. It is unclear whether or not this is before or after his time in the Shrek films. In this film, he is an outlaw, living on the run. He is trying to find a big score to clear his name and rehabilitate his reputation.
He finds out about two people, Jack and Jill, who are carrying magic beans. They want to plant them, and then take them to the giant’s castle where they will steal the golden goose, and subsequently get all the golden eggs they want. Puss decides to steal the beans, and go after the goose himself. Here he runs into Kitty Softpaws, played by Selma Hayek. She interupts him during his attempted heist, and then Puss chases her back to where an old friend, Humpty Alexander Dumpty, played by Zack Galifiankis, is waiting. Puss and Humpty go way back, and there is a lot of bad blood between them. While Puss tried to always do right, Humpty was not so noble. But Puss always stood with him, until one day, when Humpty robbed a bank and unwittingly made Puss his accomplice. This forces Puss to run away from the town, and abandons Humpty when the two of them are about to be caught. Years later, the scars hadn’t healed.
However, the three of them all decide to put their differneces aside for the single largest caper that any of them could possibly hope for. I won’t give any more spoilers away than that. The rest is a roller-coaster ride of humor, charm, and Puss being a total badass.
This was the film that was needed for Puss in Boots. Almost every one of the jokes hits its mark, and it is a big laugh when it does. The characters are fun. It is nice to see Selma Hayek in something again, and she does Kitty Softpaws very well. Granted, there are a lot of moments that are very corny, but given the target audience, children, it makes a lot of sense.
This was also a movie that proved the point that a film needs to be good. Being in 3D isn’t enough. If the film falls flat, it falls flat. I saw this in 2D, and was able to judge it on its merits, and it has several. It proves the point that something can be good in 3D, just like Avatar proved the point that something can be crap in 3D.
Really, this movie takes all the stories about western outlaws and gives them an adorable and fantastical feel. Definitely worth checking out, if you have the time.