Puss In Boots 2 SLAPS SO HARD; seriously, a movie about a talking cat with boots usurps a blockbuster about bloody blue people on Pandora and I’m so aggravated that I waited until the new year to bare witness to yet another 2022 diamond in the rough. I’m actually mad I saw Avatar INSTEAD of this.
Swinging the pendulum in the complete opposite direction to Way of Water, this movie is very spry and light on its feet and between an admittedly chaotic presentation matched with a sweetening cushion to a balanced direction, it uses all that to its advantage and then some.
We have a beautiful aesthetic, kinetic, zippy camerawork that accommodates the measurable pace and sturdy editing and an equitable tone that may not push the boundaries of a PG movie but it is still fairly solid ground for both adults and kids to circle on. Not a single character is wasted nor a single scene expendable, this is the first time I’ve laughed hard at a Shrek movie since the FIRST TWO and the less I talk about the impressionistic animation and art design, the better. Every single hand-painted, prismatic split frame, elaborate eye-popping visual of this movie only adds to its suave and darker sides; I’m practically drunk off this type of animation now.
Compared to the journey and morals of the first movie, this story handles both of those really maturely and the writing is incredibly tight from the offset. Despite the video-game-suggestive plot construction, there‘s variety in the quest that allows for individual character dissections along the way, not to mention its messages on self-loathing and loneliness, valuing what’s most important, not running from past trauma and coming to grips with your mortality are another in the long list of recycled themes executed well. All of these are intangible and are conveyed alongside understandable motives and believable stakes for the worldbuilding presented to us.
Again, messages, storyline and dialogue are fairly standard and while the music is far from horrible, only the opening song stands out from the rest. The musical score is solid all around; the contemporary music itself is fine.
But other than that, this might as well be a purr-fect comeback for the swashbuckling kitty from the fairytales of Shrek. Like, you gotta be kitten me with this.