OK, so this is late, very late. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish came out in Dec 2022. I, like you, thought “What’s the point?”, it’s the third movie in a franchise of a spin-off from another movie. However, a few people have been raving about it, so I went in.
Puss in Boots 3 is directed by Joel Crawford and Januel Mercado, the story is by Paul Fisher, Tommy Swerdlow, and Tom Wheeler. The cast is great, Antonio Banderas, Salma Kayek, Harvey Guillen, Florence Pugh, Olivia Coleman, Ray Winstone, Samson Kayo, and John Mulany to name a few. The story for Puss in Boots this time is:
“When Puss in Boots discovers that his passion for adventure has taken its toll and he has burned through eight of his nine lives, he launches an epic journey to restore them by finding the mythical Last Wish.”
We find Puss living the dream, he’s the center of attention, everyone loves him, and he’s living the good life. He never has anything to worry about, he’s got nine lives. Until he uses up his eighth life, meaning if he gets killed again, that’s it for him.
He then meets a bounty hunter who wants him dead or alive, although dead is preferred. Puss isn’t too worried until he fights this guy and suddenly realises, he is outmatched in every way. He decides to give up being Puss in Boots and retire to a home for cats. Here he will live as Pickles, just running his days out quietly.
In the old cat’s home, he meets Perrito, meaning “puppy” in Spanish, who is a small dog who disguises himself as a cat so he can get food and make friends. Perrito lives outside under the stairs and just wants to find friends and food. The downside is all the other cats don’t like him, but that’s OK, he’s happy to just be there.
Perrito decides that Puss, now Pickles, is his bestest friend, but Puss isn’t having any of it. Despite this, he is now stuck with Perrito.
Trying to find Puss is Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a criminal gang who are looking to steal a map with Puss’ help. The map is a route to the Wishing Star, which will grant one wish to one person. At the moment, it’s in the grasp of Big Jack Horner, who is a great villain.
Puss comes out of retirement and plans to steal the map from Jack, and the bears, to wish back his nine lives. In the process of stealing it, he meets up with Kitty Softpaws, his old partner in crime.
That’s all the story I will give you, the rest of it is about Puss and Kitty, the Bear Family, and Jack, all trying to get to the wishing star first. The story is actually really good, well-written, and really funny in places.
The thing I loved most about the movie was that pretty much all the characters have a character arc, something that’s been lacking in a lot of movies these days. Puss obviously goes through the biggest change, from the cocky center of attention to giving it all up, to then learning a lesson about life and his friends and how he needs them.
The journey of Goldilocks and the three bears is really sweet. The relationship between Puss, Kitty, and Perrito is really sweet. Even the character arc of the bad guy is good.
What was also great was that the arc for Puss was about Puss, and not about how a girl is so much better than him. He didn’t play second fiddle to Kitty, and not to spoil things too much, actually showed how great it would be if Puss and Kitty got together to help each other out. There’s no “a woman don’t need no man” here.
I still really like the first two Shrek movies, the others I can take or leave them. What I like in Shrek is how “adult” they are at times. They throw in the occasional naughty joke or something for the parents to laugh at.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is very much the same, I genuinely found myself belly-laughing. Perrito tells a story about how he grew up in an adopted family and they would play hide and seek and one time they put him in a sack with a brick and took him to the river.
He thought it was hilarious since he got out of the sack, which he made into a sweater, and because they never found him he won the game. His eternal optimism is very well done and helps the story out.
One laugh was the bleeping of swear words. Perrito is telling the others how he doesn’t have a name, but he’s been called a lot of things in the past:
“…Hey, Hey You, Shut Up, Ugly Pig, Rat, Pig Rat, **** for Brains…”
Again, not spoiling too much, the map to the Wishing Star depends on who is holding it. When Puss or Kitty holds it, the path is full of danger, monsters, and probable death. When Perrito holds it, it’s all sunshine and rainbows. This gave me the message that life can be as hard as you make it out to be.
There are so many messages in the movie and they are all good. Women aren’t “strong and independent” just to make the male characters look silly. Sometimes they need help and that’s OK. As usual, I’m only scratching the surface of the story and underlying messages here, but they are good messages, and not “the message”.
The animation in this was odd. It’s not the smooth style that we see in most modern movies these days. It’s like it’s dirty and jerky at times. It was weird at first, but I ended up liking it.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is a much better movie than it should be. As I said, it’s the third movie in a spin-off but it’s really well written. There’s a great story at its heart and it is really funny, and just a treat to watch. This third Puss movie is great, in fact, it’s excellent. I will happily sit down and watch this again.
It’s kind of annoying really, as I’m so bored of pointless sequels and reboots that I didn’t give this a try when it was first released. I’m also glad others pointed it out to me. It is a hidden gem of a movie in a field of churned-out crap.
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