Every hero has a back story even when that hero is an orange cat in leather boots. It makes sense that Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) didn’t just appear when the story of his green ogre friend Shrek needed him. Puss in Boots became the man cat that he is long ago in his childhood.
I always get a little nervous when a supporting character gets their own film. Usually they are appreciated just because they are the sidekick and only get a little bit of screen time. When they have to carry an entire film on their own shoulders it unfortunately usually doesn’t work. Catwoman was great while she was a part of the Batman film and then horrible when on her own starring Halle Berry. Deputy Enos Strate was funny in his bumbly way on The Dukes of Hazzard while his own show, Enos, only lasted one season. Molly Shannon was hilarious as Mary Catherine Gallagher on SNL. The film Superstar featuring the same character was a bomb. Small doses, people, small doses is the key. Maybe this is something that the people behind Puss in Boots should have thought of rather than the pursuit of the almighty dollar.
While Puss in Boots, the film, is not exactly painful, it also was not a good film. I did laugh here and there, but no more than I did while watching this character in a supporting role in the Shrek films. Cat behaviours, especially when exaggerated, are good for a guffaw. Just not sure that is enough to sustain a film.
Jack (Billy Bob Thorton – the Oscar winner has been reduced to this) and his wife (? – I thought they were brother and sister!) Jill (Amy Sedaris) have been said to possess magic beans. Puss in Boots, Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) and Kitty Softpaws (Selma Hayak) band together to get them off the red neck couple, plant them, wait for the giant bean stalk to sprout up into the clouds, and then make off with the goose that lays the golden eggs. This is something that Puss and Humpty Dumpty have dreamt of since they were young lads in the orphanage and now it seems like, after a bump in their friendship road, it might be coming true. But as in most fairy tales there is stuff going on behind the scenes that our hero (Puss) doesn’t know about and that is when things start getting interesting.