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Puss in Boots The Last Wish Review: The biggest baddie of them all is mortality

Ayaan Paul
Ayaan PaulJan 24, 2023 | 08:00

Puss in Boots The Last Wish Review: The biggest baddie of them all is mortality

A sequel to the popular Shrek franchise, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish follows the adventures of Puss as he discovers that his passion for adventure has taken its toll and he has burnt through eight of his nine lives. 

One of the most entertaining additions to the DreamWorks canon, The Last Wish tells the story of the iconic feline hero, Puss In Boots as he sets out on an epic journey to find the mythical Last Wish and restore his nine lives.

Have a look at the trailer for the film:

Getting the obvious out of the way, the film's animation is truly a sight to behold. The characters are animated with such detail and care, very delicately balancing looking lifelike and caricatured. The opening fight with the giant (which has since gone viral for parallels drawn with Attack On Titan) is energetic, exhilarating and impeccably thought out.  

The landscapes and backgrounds are also beautifully rendered, with each contrasting environment emulating an almost videogame level-style aesthetic.

Each frame of animation bursts with vibrant colors and intricate textures with equally impressive character designs. Puss himself being a particular standout with his expressive eyes and velvety fur, rendered with incredible realism, making him a truly endearing and relatable protagonist.

With everything including down to the very last intricate detail on cat fur, DreamWorks has outdone themselves. The animation in The Last Wish is quite simply breathtaking.

Antonio Banderas reprises his role as Puss and brings the character to life with his signature charm and wit. A supporting cast including the likes of Salma Hayek, Olivia Colman, Florence Pugh and John Mulaney, ensured that The Last Wish was characteristically entertaining to listen to, if the jaw dropping visuals weren’t enough by themselves.

But this film is more than just a feast for the eyes and ears. It is a deeply emotional and thought-provoking journey that explores the complexities of love, loyalty, and sacrifice.

The film begins with Puss In Boots living a peaceful life in the village of Del Mar, where he is respected and admired by the villagers for his heroic exploits. Though the opening song admittedly initially felt like a gimmick, the vigour behind Banderas’s comical vocals grow on you to the point of no return (I’ve listened to it over a hundred times since at the very least). 

However, Puss’s blissful existence is interrupted when he is confronted with the unfathomable: he’s on the last of his nine lives.

Naturally, the “Fearless Hero” is horrified by the prospects of mortality and he is forced to confront the idea that his time is running out. He is also forced to grapple with the fact that he will not be able to continue living his life as he had before, and that he will need to make a final wish that will determine his fate.

As Puss In Boots embarks on his quest with Kitty Softpaws and therapy dog harbouring unimaginable trauma, he is faced with a series of obstacles, challenges and fearsome fairytale characters that include - a very British Goldilocks and her family of three bears and a very large (and very creepy) ‘Little’ Jack Horner.

He is torn between wanting to extend his own life and wanting to use his wish to help others. This internal conflict further explores the theme of mortality, as Puss In Boots grapples with the idea of what it means to live a meaningful life.

However, Puss doesn’t do so unprompted of course. A menacing threat fast approaches him in the form of a terrifying wolf - one who has since captured the imaginations of the Internet.

Initially depicted as a bounty hunting harbinger of death, Brazilian actor Wagner Moura brings to life, one of the most terrifying villains in animated history: Death itself.

Brandishing two razor-sharp scythes and a whistle to announce his arrival that’s just as iconic as it is hair-raising, Senor Death puts the fear of life into Puss, who is hanging on to his very last by its cat whiskers.

The film builds-up to a final climactic face-off with Death, leaving Puss with no choice but to face his fears. The film offers a powerful and thought-provoking exploration of the human experience, but does so with playful simplicity.

Puss stumbles and falls on his way, but finally understands what must be done. To enjoy the rewards of being loved, we must submit ourselves to the mortifying ordeal of being known; the complexities of which, though come off as a textbook DreamWorks, manifest themselves in the most grounded and entertaining way possible - in a ‘Death’ battle.

To try and escape death is to live a life of denial and fear. And at the end of an epic one on one clash with the canine embodiment of Death itself, the "Fearless Hero" finally lives up to his name.

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish is a visually stunning and surprisingly profound masterpiece that truly pushes the boundaries of what we expect from animated cinema.

We're going with 5 out of 5 stars for the film.

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish is playing in theatres near you.

Last updated: January 24, 2023 | 08:00
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