“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” Rating: 3.5/5
To my surprise, the “Shrek” franchise has some gas left in the tank.
In this fairy tale, Puss in Boots realizes he is on the last of his nine lives. He decides to pursue the mythical Last Wish to restore his lost lives. On his journey, he must counter several adversaries who also want the wish for themselves.
It’s safe to say that the fifth entry in the “Shrek” franchise didn’t have the highest expectations. I’m happy to say the franchise still wields significant charm. Normally at this point a franchise will start to show its age, but Puss is a charming enough character to warrant another movie.
The film attempts to explore the idea of mortality. Puss is put in a position to confront his arrogance and carelessness, which is a nice place to explore his character after all these years. He’s surrounded by a large group of characters in the story, adding to the “Shrek” lore. While certain characters like Kitty Softpaws and Death the Wolf are welcome additions, I feel as though there were too many characters at the center of the narrative. That being said, the reason why each character was pursuing the wish made for a surprisingly thoughtful story at the center.
Each journey we follow was earned in the end. I’m also a sucker for some of the edgy, off-color humor the franchise has done so well. The animation is also quite unique. It features a more colorful style than the previous “Shrek” films. I certainly enjoyed a change of pace but preferred the standard “Shrek” format.
While the new “Puss in Boots” brings some fresh energy to the series, I still don’t think it comes close to the first two “Shrek” movies. Some of the humor doesn’t feel as organic as the originals.
We got time to develop relationships with Shrek, Donkey, Fiona, Puss, etc., but here, we’re thrown into a film with too many characters. With multiple storylines going on at once, the runtime spends a tedious amount of time with side stories that aren’t nearly as interesting as Puss and Kitty’s story. A story structured around Puss would have been more effective.
I also continue to miss the main “Shrek” characters. While Puss brims with charisma as the lead, I still miss the ones who made the series famous in the first place. They are the heartbeat of this franchise and their absence is felt. I hope future films feature their return.
The “Shrek” franchise is a fun world to explore. The latest “Puss in Boots” film adds to the fairy tale expansion with some colorful animation and a fun adventure.
While I miss the main characters, “The Last Wish” manages to validate its existence by injecting a surprising amount of heart to our favorite feline’s story. A fun, family film to check out.
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