Friday, November 25, 2011

Puss in Boots [2011]

Director: Chris Miller
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris
Genre: Comedy/Adventure
Rating: General
Excerpt: "About as charming as Puss in Boots' big, bambi eyes, but at the same time nothing out of the ordinary..."

Famous outlaw and womaniser, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) never thought he could want more than his usual petty thefts as well as scoring chicks (?) while he's at it. That is, until he arrives at a town where he learns of the legendary magic beans in the hands of two other outlaws, Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris), and his attempt to steal them is thwarted by a fellow thief who goes by the name of Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek). From there, he forges an uneasy alliance with her as well as someone else from his past, Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis).

What to Expect
1. A catnip of a movie for cat lovers
2. A proper parody movie
3. Plenty of funny moments

What Not to Expect
1. Plot hole-free (but that's why it's funny!)
2. Laugh out loud comedy
Making a Puss in Boots spin-off was definitely a step in the right direction now that the Shrek movies had become much too derivative to surprise us (I stopped watching after the second one). But that also begs the question "How would Puss in Boots fare any differently?"

Indeed, it is true that the character Puss in Boots was to Shrek what Wolverine was to the X-Men movies; They both stole the show, and they're both pretty much the audience's favourite characters out of their respective movies. Still, it doesn't guarantee that they can carry a movie on their own. And yes, I just took another stab at how drowsy X-Men Origins: Wolverine [2010] made me feel while I was watching it.

Good news is, you don't need to worry about not getting your money's worth when it comes to Puss in Boots. As long as you don't expect for some sort of a revival of the novelty. You know, like that first time you saw the very first Shrek movie?

I know that you might share the same concerns as I before I saw this movie. I bet one of them is how are they going to retain the charm and humour of the character, much of which came from his on-screen banters with Donkey and to a lesser extent, Shrek himself. Well, they did pretty good actually, because at the heart of the Shrek universe is the parody of bedtime stories and nursery rhymes. A proper parody, mind you. Which means it's more like Airplane! [1980] or The Naked Gun, and the furthest thing from Epic Movie [2007].

That is not to say this is a laugh out loud type movie, though. But then again, the movie never pretended to want to be an Oscar contender, so let's not treat it as such. The movie packed plenty of giggles, and it was simply meant to pass the time. Even though things did get a little slow and dragged out in the middle, the screenwriter did well enough in sidestepping the paint-by-number approach to the origin story to make it feel like a standalone movie.

Now, you would notice that I haven't said anything about the plot because... Well, what is there to say about it? While it worked in terms of complementing the charm of the movie, still I felt like it tried a little bit too hard to evenly balance wit, visual humour, and pop culture references. As a result, there are portions of the movie when the children in the cinema kept quiet while their dads guffawed, and vice versa.

Not that I know how it could have been done differently. But what I'm saying is, there are times when you'll laugh, and then feel a tad bored before laughing again, fluctuating like a heart monitor. So where does that leave Puss in Boots as a whole? I would say that it was good enough while it lasted, you'll laugh and have a good time, but at the end of the day it's not the kind of movie you'll have a conversation about at the water cooler.

On an unrelated note, here's a picture of my cat, Garfieluddin.

1 comment:

PerangFilem said...

not bad gak.. tapi tak la gelak sgt.

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