Friday 6 January 2023

REVIEW: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022) Stars Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek Pinault

Review by Jon Donnis
Everyone's favourite character from Shrek is back, in the sequel to Puss in Boots (2011) and the sixth instalment in the Shrek film franchise. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish sees Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) as he goes on a journey to find the mystical Last Wish for the Wishing Star by teaming up with his friends Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek Pinault) and Perrito (Harvey Guillén) and restore the eight of his nine lives that he lost, while also trying to escape from new enemies, Goldilocks (Florence Pugh), "Big" Jack Horner (John Mulaney), and Death (Wagner Moura), who plan to hunt him down.

I will be honest here in saying that I do not recall if I ever saw Puss in Boots (2011), I expect I did, but it is not in my memory. However, I am familiar with the Shrek films, although not a big fan. Puss was always the stand out character in the Shrek films for me, so it is good to see the character get its own run of films.

Puss in Boots is enjoying a party at the mansion of the governor of Del Mar when he gets into a fight with the governor's men and awakens an earthen giant. He manages to defeat the giant, but is later crushed by a bell. When he wakes up, a doctor tells him that he only has one life left and suggests that he retire to preserve what time he has left. Puss initially ignores the advice, but after a black-hooded wolf draws blood from him in a local pub, he seeks refuge with Mama Luna (Da'Vine Joy Randolph), an elderly cat lady, to live as a domesticated pet. Puss ceremoniously buries his iconic attire outside the house, seemingly retiring from his outlaw career.

As time passes, Puss meets Perrito, an optimistic Chihuahua dog who has disguised himself as a cat. Their conversation is interrupted when Goldilocks and the Three Bears Crime Family arrive (Olivia Colman as Mama Bear, Ray Winstone as Papa Bear, Samson Kayo as Baby Bear), searching for Puss. They reveal the existence of "The Wishing Star" to Puss and tell him that the map showing its location will be delivered to "Big" Jack Horner that night. Puss decides to steal the map and restore his lost lives, and reunites with Kitty Softpaws in the process. The trio follows the map to the Dark Forest, where they encounter man-eating roses and a hooded wolf. Puss gets his beard shaved off by Kitty and they rescue Perrito from Jack, but Goldilocks and her gang intervene and a fight ensues. Puss is distracted by the hooded wolf and Goldilocks is able to obtain the map.

One of the first things that impressed me about the film is the animation style. It is very unique looking, and not at all like the Shrek films, this looks more like the style used in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Some scenes, usually the fight scenes seem to drop the frame rate, which then makes things look like a cut scene from a video game. It is very striking, and definitely caught my eye.

Banderas has one of those voices that is so likeable, and it fits so perfectly with the Puss character, I honestly don't think the character would work anywhere near as good with another actor voicing the role.

The Perrito character is also a huge gain for the film, it is another likeable character that hits all the right spots for the viewer. He is also the source for some of the comedy that adults might appreciate that will go over kids' heads.

The Good
I loved the animation style, it just looks and feels different, and at times it even looks hand drawn. No idea how they do it, but it looks great. There are some proper laugh out loud moments, the voice acting is of the highest quality throughout, and the film as a whole at about 100 minutes seems about right.

The Bad
I wasn't keen on the 3 bears. Every time I hear Ray Winstone's voice, all I can think of are those annoying betting ads that come on the TV at half time in the footy.

A really fun film that is suitable for the whole family. Kids will love it, and adults will too. All round a really good film, and I highly recommend it.

I score Puss in Boots: The Last Wish a solid 8.5/10

At cinemas now.
And you can pre-order it for its Home Entertainment release at