‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’ review: A long-delayed animated sequel is mostly on its feet


Coming 11 years after its first movie and 18 years after its introduction in the “Shrek” franchise, “Puss in Boots: Last Wish” brings a playful quality and a deeper message to the animated cat. When it comes to long-postponed sequels, it’s wise to be careful what you wish for, but overall the movie manages to stand up agile.

Granted, it’s debatable whether another movie is needed (probably not), but tasked with making it, it’s at least energetic and somewhat entertaining. Once again drawing heavily on storybook knowledge, the premise involves the fearless protagonist (again voiced by Antonio Banderas) having consumed eight of his nine lives (“I’m not really a mathematician,” he says when briefed on the situation). suggest turning it back to dangerous bullying.

Undeterred Cat confronts a fearsome wolf (“Narcos’s” Wagner Moura), who sends him into a retreat, and embarks on a quest to find the Wishing Star, whose power will give him the ability to reclaim his lost lives and, in theory, his bullying. and magic.

In the meantime, Puss recaps what it’s like to be a rescue cat, complete with the humiliations of mass feeding and litter boxes. For cat aficionados, these scenes will have an extra comedic effect, even if they go a little too long before moving on to the larger plot.

Along the way, Puss is reunited with love interest Kittie Softpaws (Salma Hayek Pinault), and things seem to end badly; and Perrito (Harvey Guillén from “What We Do in the Shadows”) picks up an unnamed dog and thinks everything is great no matter how bad the conditions seem.

In addition to keeping the wolf away, the Cat faces serious competition for Yildiz; and Big Jack Horner (John Mulaney), who’s past his “good boy” days and becomes relentless in getting what he wants.

“The Last Wish,” directed by Joel Crawford and based on a screenplay by co-director Januel Mercado (who worked together on “The Croods: A New Age”) and Paul Fisher and Tommy Swerdlow, is perhaps inevitably a bit too chaotic in some places. it feels. with all interested parties plucked from fairy tales participating in the hunt, each with their own motives. Yet when it comes to cheating on death, there is a sweetness to making the most of the life (or lives) you have, even without a cat-like pillow.

The animation, of course, allows the main characters to pick up where they left off, but the long delay between movies feels like an implicit admission that Puss in Boots has always been and could be better suited to the role of comedy co-star. an insignificant delicacy when pushed into the central spotlight.

Still, while rewatching Puss in Boots in pursuit of more life isn’t a happy ticket to forever, they all said it’s not a bad way to kill a family for roughly 100 minutes.

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” opens in US theaters on December 21. It is rated PG.

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