Return of the ginger ninja
❏IF you dismiss Puss in Boots thinking it might be cashing in on a much- loved minor character from the Shrek stable, you are making a big mistake.
Instead of merely re- stating what we knew and loved of Puss ( voiced with purring gusto by Antonio Banderas), the new picture pursues a fresh line of attack.
The clock is wound back to a pre- Shrek era, where Puss was still finding his paws as a cat of action. As an origin tale, it is a sharp piece of storytelling.
And inspired, too. The writers have mashed up everything you thought you knew about the parallel worlds of fairytales and nursery rhymes and then re- imagined that knowledge into something refreshingly unique.
Jack and Jill are now a criminal couple forever on the lam, a bedtime- story Bonnie and Clyde if you will. Little Boy Blue and Little Jack Horner are the biggest bullies around, taking no prisoners in the strange orphanage where Puss is abandoned as a kitten.
Then there’s Mother Goose herself, who goes on a King Kong- esque rampage at the film’s climax, laying waste to an entire town while hunting for a kidnapped child. You know, the one that lays those golden eggs.
The most compelling character of them all is one Humpty Alexander Dumpty. Throughout the picture, Humpty cuts a rather sad, almost tragic figure – a hard- boiled egg who has scrambled together a life of crime because he never knew better.
When he finally cracks ( sorry, there is just no other way of putting it), the result is one of the most moving scenes of any film in 2011.