“Puss In Boots: The Last Wish” (Movie Review)


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Puss in Boots has spent eight of his nine lives, and believes his life of daring adventures is over. Gabi shares her thoughts on this loveable, orange cat in “Puss In Boots: The Last Wish.”

Gabi Merchen, Contributing Writer

Some movies make us laugh. Some movies make us cry, and some movies bring into the forefront of our minds the power of love and the value of life through the eyes of an impossibly endearing orange tabby cat. “Puss In Boots: The Last Wish” is all of the above.

Antonio Banderas breathes new life into the old favorite, lending his voice to Puss to create what is arguably the best animated feature of the year. Playing opposite Selma Hayek, his performance is lively, emotional, and equal parts playful and grounded.

John Mulaney and Florence Pugh offer stand out vocal performances as villains Jack Horner and Goldilocks, respectively, but there are truly no weak links in the chain that comprises the cast of “The Last Wish.”

After an energetic musical opening that will leave even the most surly of spectators tapping their toes, Puss in Boots is confronted with the reality that he has officially squandered eight of his nine lives over the course of his many adventures and now only one life remains. This forces our hero into early retirement, now destined to live a despondent life of fancy feasts and mewling lap cats, or so he thinks.

Throughout the unceasingly delightful hour and forty-minute run of the film, we follow the dashing daredevil as he navigates the new waters of living life without a net. With death on his heels and a gaggle of zany villains competing for the titular “last wish,” Puss, Heyak’s Kitty Softpaws, and their new friend, Perrito, embark on their greatest expedition yet: the quest for meaning in a single life lived.

The narratively ambitious “The Last Wish” is rife with belly laughs and tear-jerking moments that leave viewers wondering “why in the world is this sequel to a Shrek spinoff about an outlaw kitty cat so unbelievably good?” Both a resplendent ode to animation lovers and a sweepingly engrossing film in its own right, “The Last Wish” exudes the thrill and whimsy of classic adventure films at every turn.

The animation of the film is action-packed from tip to toe with such eye-pleasing artistry and ease of motion that it is often reminiscent of a video game. The engrossing visual spectacle is the result of flawlessly executed stylistic choices by the creative team behind “The Last Wish,” but it is also a testament to the strides animation has made as a means of artistic expression in its own right. Under the stellar instruction of revered animation director, Joel Crawford, the movie flourishes both visually and dramatically.

Throughout the film, our plucky gang of heroes learn the value of life’s fleeting irreplaceability through the swashbuckling triumphs and devastating failures of the fluffy little rogue we’ve all come to adore.

I’d even venture to say that “The Last Wish” is not only the best animated feature of the year, but also the best film in the entire catalog of the Shrek cinematic universe which already features many exceptional films and spans over two decades. In my humble but accurate opinion, the stakes have never been higher, and the characters have never been more lovable.

A perfect amalgamation of everything epic and cuddlesome that encompasses Puss as a character, “The Last Wish” is simultaneously a heartwarming journey to acceptance as well as a brutal grappling match with mortality. The film is abundant in both bite and tenderness, offering a twisting tale of romance, friendship, betrayal, mortality, and the dashingly debonair exploits of the cat at the center of it all.

Move over, “Avatar: Way of Water.” There’s a new belated big budget serialization of a popular early 2000s franchise coming to theaters near you, and I guarantee (unlike Avatar) our favorite fearless hero will not disappoint.


Gabi Merchen is a third-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.