Sequels are tough. Either the movies keep getting better (like Toy Story) or they keep getting worse (like Shrek). Puss in Boots seems to be DreamWorks Studios' attempt to kick some life into a dying franchise with a movie that's part prequel and part spin-off. Unfortunately, as was the case with Pirates of the Caribbean, building an entire story around a side character can only get you so far.
In the movie, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) teams up with childhood best friend Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) and feisty feline Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek). Their plan? Steal the magic beans from Jack and Jill, get to the castle in the sky, and poach the goose that lays the golden eggs. Riches. Happiness. The end.
There isn't much more to say
Trying to squeeze this much, and a whole lot more, into just 90 minutes is probably why the movie ends up feeling much longer than it actually is. Perhaps it was the only way that director Chris Miller (Shrek the Third) could hide the fact that there isn't much more to say about Puss that we haven't heard before.
Okay, okay; the movie isn't that bad. The special effects are so detailed you can almost feel the texture of Puss's dirty leather boots. But is that enough? Nowadays, great animation is a given. It can't be used to distract us for so long we don't realise there's not much else. And it definitely can't be used as a way to give us headaches from unnecessarily expensive 3D.
Obvious humour that kids will like
In the end, Puss in Boots is full of the obvious humour that kids will like. Plus, it's short enough for parents to tag along if they'd rather not brave the rabid masses in the mall. So see it. Or not. Whatever. Perhaps you'll come away feeling slightly better (or at least not substantially worse). Perhaps that's enough. But contrary to Internet memes everywhere, there's only so much "LOL" you can get from a cat.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes Age Restriction: PG
Eugene graduated from the University of Cape Town with distinctions in financial accounting and classical piano. He then spent over two-and-half years working in branding and communications at two of South Africa's top market research companies. Eugene also spent over three-and-a-half years at an eLearning start-up, all while building his business as an award-winning writer.
Visit www.eugeneyiga.com, follow @eugeneyiga on Twitter, or email moc.agiyenegue@olleh to say, um, hello.
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