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Animations (for the most part) have provided the law of diminishing returns in recent years – with even genre masters such as Pixar not hitting the extremely high levels they once did.

So, it’s refreshing to see a sequel not take the lazy route – Minions: The Rise of Gru recently springs to mind – with Puss in Boots: The Last Wish actually improving on the original, and most of the Shrek back catalogue (in which he debuted) as well.

And on top of an incredibly stellar turn from Antonio Banderas’ swashbuckling feline title character, for once all the support – from sidekicks to villains – are actually noteworthy too.

The arrogant outlaw is banished to a rural ‘cat house’ – with the mysterious black-hooded ‘master of death’ The Wolf on his trail – after finally realising he has used up eight out of his nine lives.

But when he hears about the existence of a mythical Wishing Star that could grant him a final wish to reverse his predicament, he goes in search of the magical artefact – with kind-hearted stray dog Perrito (Harvey Guillen) in toe.

Here he crosses paths with his ex-lover, Salma Hayek Pinault’s returning street-savvy Kitty Softpaws – the Banderas/Hayek Desperado combo re-teaming again – and the trio form an uneasy alliance to stay one step ahead of the baddies also searching for the gold.

They come in the form of Florence Pugh’s mischievous Goldilocks and Three Bears (two voiced by Oscar-winner Olivia Colman and Ray Winstone), and the maniacal ‘Big’ Jack Horner – who all make their mark on proceedings.

And even though the general premise is nothing to write home about, it’s done with a stellar blend of acting and comedy, and most importantly, a lot of heart. And Perrito just about steals the show too.

The only bad news is that after milking the Shrek franchise to death – so much so that parts three and four were ‘borefests’ – the success of Puss will undoubtedly lead to a fifth instalment in the series.

Let’s just make a wish – and hope it will have as much passion as this surprisingly competent sequel.

Because this isn’t too far, far away from being purr-fect.

ESP Rating: 4/5

Gavin Miller

Showcase Cinema De Lux Peterborough, Out Now

Voice Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek Pinault, Harvey Guillen, Florence Pugh, Olivia Colman & Ray Winstone

Running Time: 1 Hr 42 Mins

Director: Joel Crawford

Go to for all the latest film information & showtimes at Peterborough’s Showcase Cinema De Lux


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