Film review | Puss in Boots – Antonio’s pussy galore takes centre stage

Puss in Boots, the swashbuckling feline sidekick from the Shrek films, gets his own spin-off adventure and it’s a joy, a witty, knowing animation mash-up of fairy tales and spaghetti Westerns, Zorro and Mother Goose.

With his Latin suavity and swagger, there’s something irresistibly funny about Antonio Banderas‘s Puss and it’s a delight to see him strut his stuff through the tale of his outlaw origins, even if the story itself is overly convoluted and just a little clunky. The fun lies in the characters. Puss himself, in his jaunty feathered hat and leather boots, Salma Hayek‘s slinky cat thief Kitty Softpaws, Zach Galifianakis‘s scheming egg-head Humpy Dumpty, and Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris as Jack and Jill, the boy and girl who went up the hill re-imagined here as a middle-aged, Southern-fried duo out of a hillbilly horror movie.

The plot, such as it is, throws them all together in a slippery quest springing from orphan Humpty’s lifelong dream to find the magic beans of legend and lay hold of the goose that lays the golden eggs. Along the way, there are betrayals and double-crosses galore, rattling chases and swish sword fights, fleeting visual gags, mischievous verbal jokes and, best of all, a frisky flamenco dance-off between Puss and Kitty that will leave the viewer purring with pleasure.

On general release from Friday 9th December 2011.

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