“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” Lands on Its Feet – Movie Review

When I was a child, I loved Shrek. Absolutely adored it. I was about four years old when the first movie was released and watched it every single day. To such an annoying degree that my mom still hates it. Being so young when it was in its heyday, I truly grew up with the franchise. Despite this, I was hesitant to see the sequel to Shrek‘s spin-off, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. How wrong I was.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022)

The Last Wish follows our titular hero, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), as he is forced to face his own mortality. He is a cat who, over the years, has spent eight of his nine lives. On his final life, he is determined to restore his lost lives so he can continue his swashbuckling adventures. The one way to do this is by finding the mythical Last Wish and making it so.

Puss is not the only one after The Last Wish and finds himself against time and others. Jack Horner (John Mulaney) and Goldilocks (Florence Pugh) and the Three Bears (Ray Winstone, Olivia Colman, Samson Kayo) turn out to be his biggest adversaries. He is lucky to have a few allies in Perrito (Harvey Guillén) and Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), even if they do not fully understand what they have gotten into.

Unique in Tone

The Last Wish establishes its tone early on. It is, first and foremost, a comedy adventure. With exhilarating action sequences, rivaling those of live-action movies, and jokes that land far more than they miss, the movie is consistent in being a good time for those who only want to engage with it in that way. But beyond the humor and the action, there is a layer to the movie that is deeply sad.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022)

As Puss faces his mortality, he is followed by Death, personified by a wolf (Wagner Moura). This is a genuinely scary character for a movie of its type. This helps the movie stand apart from the usual Dreamworks fare we get. Although it is an overall light movie, intended for families, some sequences were darker than anticipated. To be clear, this is a positive in my eyes. I like that the film is not talking down to its mostly adolescent audience.

Gorgeous Animation

In another positive for the film, the animation style is gorgeous. Following a trend that seems to have been sparked by Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Puss in Boots uses a style that looks like a storybook. Animated in a way that mixes the CGI animation from the first film, with an almost painterly look. It’s a really pleasing style to watch and makes the action sequences feel that much more exciting.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022)

Overall, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is a great time to be had by all. I found myself laughing throughout, my heart thumping from the action, and my mind actively invested in the characters. It talks to its audience with a real sense of maturity, balancing the humor and action with serious topics such as death and panic attacks. I saw it with two friends who were even more skeptical than I was and they ended up loving it. If that is not a full endorsement, I do not know what is!

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