Review: ‘Puss In Boots: The Last Wish’

Everyone’s Favorite Swashbuckling Feline Faces His Biggest Challenge: His Own Mortality

Puss in Boots is back for yet another adventure almost eleven years after the original Puss in Boots movie (and pretty much 18 years since his introduction in Shrek 2). The daring cat with the adorably lovely eyes has another adventure on the big screen. The character is essentially aging alongside his audience in the newest DreamWorks’ Shrek Cinematic Universe film Puss In Boots: The Last Wish, so this time it’s a little darker and a lot more adult.

Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) is seen living the life of an outlaw hero at the beginning of Puss In Boots: The Last Wish. In addition to performing well-choreographed dance numbers while swashbuckling giant tree monsters, he’s got a bounty put on his head from everyone from the governor to any hired hand wanting to collect the ransom. We find that Puss in Boots has nine lives because he does sustain a casualty on his most recent trip. In spite of the fact that he has nine lives, he has already passed away eight times, leaving him with just one more to live. To make matters worse, when Puss in Boots encounters “Wolf” (Wagner Moura), he has met his match. Although Wolf initially seems to be just another individual seeking the reward, Wolf actually has more sinister plans for Puss in Boots as his true identity is revealed later on. Puss in Boots is actually terrified because he recently lost a battle against Wolf and doesn’t want to actually pass away. He decides to escape and go into exile as a result.

Puss in Boots seeks refuge at Mama Luna’s house (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) on the advice of the village doctor (Anthony Mendez). He is finally made to live a normal cat’s life in her care, which includes eating cat food and using a litter box that he finds beneath him. At Mama Luna’s house, he meets Perrito (Harvey Guillén), a therapy dog who poses as a cat for the sake of shelter. Of course, Perrito annoys Puss In Boots for being so clingy, but they finally team up. Puss in Boots quickly becomes aware of the myth surrounding a wishing star, which is said to grant one wish to whoever discovers it. In an effort to grant himself nine more lives, he embarks on a search to locate it.

He isn’t the only one seeking this McGuffin, though. Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), is also looking for the wishing star, and returns for the sequel. Puss in Boots, Perrito, and Kitty reluctantly join forces as the group sets out to find the star, which is buried in a dangerous forest. There are more factions besides Puss in Boots, Kitty, and Perrito that are looking for the star. Since this is a part of the Shrek Cinematic Universe, we must have some of our favorite fable characters. This time in Puss In Boots: The Last Wish we get Goldilocks (Florence Pugh) and the three bears (Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone, and Samson Kayo). Also searching for the wishing star is avid magical artifact collector “Big” Jack Horner (John Mulaney). And now it’s a race to the finish line to find the wishing star. At the same time, Wolf is hot on Puss In Boots’ trail.

Each character examines why they need to make a wish to change what they perceive as “wrong” in their life as they strive to achieve their shared objective of obtaining the star for their own selfish ends. As previously mentioned, it appears that the Shrek Cinematic Universe is maturing alongside its audience, who are now of an age when they will reflect on their own lives and their relationships with their loved ones. The movie contains a few profoundly mature scenes. PG-rated Puss In Boots: The Last Wish contains some extremely funny adult moments as well, complete with a slew of bleeps to conceal profanity. The animation in the movie is another excellent aspect. The animation style used throughout a number of the battle scenes is uncannily similar to that of the undisputed best Spider-Man movie as they have taken some cues from Into The Spider-Verse. Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas are excellent in the cast, and neither lost a step in the eleven years since the last movie. The new voice cast is also excellent, particularly Harvey Guillén as Perrito, who is impossible not to adore.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is worth the wait, even though eleven years may seem like a long time to wait for a sequel (after all, we just watched Avatar: The Way of the Water after a thirteen-year wait as well). The Shrek Cinematic Universe doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, judging by the movie’s ending! Given that it’s the holiday season, this is the ideal time to take the entire family to the movies so they can see some of their all-time favorite characters again.

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish is currently in theaters nationwide.