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Puss in Boots (2011)

Friday, 30. December 2011

Puss in Boots
Director: Chris Miller
Writer:  Tom Wheeler, David H. Steinberg, Brian Lynch, Jon Zack
Based on: Charles Perrault‘s character and the Shrek movies to which it is a prequel
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Guillermo del Toro

Plot:
Puss (Antonio Banderas) is a talented thief who has set his eyes on the magic beans, currently in the possession of the criminals Jack (Billy Bob Thornton) and Jill (Amy Sedaris). But when he tries to steal them, he crosses paths with the mysterious Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek). Kitty is working with Puss’ former best friend Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) who is obsessed with the magic beans – and the goose that lays golden eggs to which the beans lead. And so the three of them throw their lots together to best Jack and Jill.

This movie could and should have been better than it actually was. It was not totally bad but it left me with a vague sense of unfulfilment.

Practically the only moments that really, really worked were the moments when Puss suddenly behaves like a cat and not like a man in cat form – chasing lights, lapping the milk, etc. Unfortunately most of these scenes we already know from the trailer. Plus, as with almost every other joke in the entire film, they repeat these things ad infinitum.

But most things just ended up nowhere and felt like unconnected pieces. As if they hadn’t found enough material for one 90 minute movie. And that is just sad.

What I did like was that Kitty was a competent woman/feline – and was allowed to remain one until the end. Unfortunately that was completely counteracted by the way Jack’s wish for children and a housemanly life was constantly ridiculed – we all know that being a housewife is TEH WORSE and a man who chooses that life is TEH STOOPID PERSONIFIED. Sigh. [Especially this could have been a wonderful counterpoint to Puss' overemphasised machismo, if it hadn't been devalued in that way.]

At least Antonio Banderas and Zach Galifianakis were good and Salma Hayek was quite okay. Though I didn’t get the randomness of the Spanish accents – they all seem to be from the same area and Puss and Humpty were even brought up together, and yet one has a Spanish accent and the other does not.

Summarising: Stick to the Shrek movies. At least there you’ll get popculture references.

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4 comments

  1. Good work, I have yet to see this but I am surprised you did not like it more. Generally it has received very positive reviews.

    Still, good work!


    • Thanks!

      I was surprised myself that I didn’t like it more, since I enjoyed Puss in the Shrek movies…


  2. Hi! Fascinating you didn’t like the movie more… I wish I understand this more from your review: “Unfortunately that was completely counteracted by the way Jack’s whish for children and a housemanly life was constantly ridiculed – we all know that being a housewife is TEH WORSE and a man who chooses that life is TEH STOOPID PERSONIFIED. Sigh. [Especially this could have been a wonderful counterpoint to Puss' overemphasised machismo, if it hadn't been devalued in that way.]”

    I get it that a character had a desire you didn’t think appropriate but that’s about it. Anyway love the different perspective. Cheers…


    • What I meant is that Jack – who throughout the movie keeps discussing with Jill that he would like to have children, leave the life of crime, settle down and basically become a houseman – is made fun of for exactly that wish all the time. It is a desire not to be taken seriously (from the movie’s pov); it is only played for laughs.
      This plays into our (as a society) notion that being a housewife/-man is not a valuable job, or in fact a job at all and that women are stuck with it as something they have to endure, while men are lucky enough to escape that fate. So, when a man wants to become a houseman, something must be wrong with him – and that’s oh so funny.

      I want to stress that this is not my opinion (as usual when i use “TEH” I’m being very sarcastic – something a new reader of my blog might not get immediately). I think that being a housewife/-man is a completely valid and important job. And especially in this film, where Puss’ idealised machismo dominates a whole lot, it would have nice to have a counterpoint to said machismo. But that would have worked only if Jack and his wish had been taken seriously.

      So, long explanation – but I hope my point is clearer now!



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