Re­turn of the gin­ger ninja

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH Now show­ing Vil­lage Cine­mas

❏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.

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