It’s been a full 11 years since we last heard Antonio Banderas as the voice of the titular feline in Puss in Boots, and his highly anticipated return in the upcoming sequel proves there’s no bad time for a new adventure in the Shrek universe. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is set to hit theaters on December 21, fresh for those seeking some holiday respite at the theater, and reviews are here to tell us if the new tale of the hilarious, sword-wielding cat was worth the decade-long wait for its arrival.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is the sixth movie in the Shrek franchise and the second in the spinoffs that star Antonio Banderas. Salma Hayek is also back as Kitty Softpaws, and they’re joined by actors including Harvey Guillén, Florence Pugh, Olivia Colman, John Mulaney and Wagner Moura, as Puss seeks the Last Wish that will restore the eight lives he has lost. Director Joel Crawford has warned that this sequel will have some darker tones, as the main character struggles with mortality and a fear of death, so let’s take a look at what the critics are saying.
Zaki Hasan of the San Francisco Chronicle says there are enough swerves in the plot to make this an adventure worth going on, and that’s not to mention the dynamic animation. This critic sees more to come for this character after the whimsical, sassy journey, and says hopefully we don’t have have to wait another 11 years:
Leigh Monson of the AV Club says DreamWorks has delivered the best of the six Shrek films, calling The Last Wish “visually striking and narratively engaging.” This critic and the previous one each compared the animation style to that of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Monson grades the movie a B+, calling it one of cinema’s biggest surprises of the year:
Katie Walsh of the Los Angeles Times says Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek’s characters have great chemistry, and the new additions to the voice cast are impressive as well, noting:
Peter Debruge of Variety posits that similarly to the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, DreamWorks seems to have learned that cartoon characters get a lot more interesting if they’re not immortal. The review reads:
Emma Stefansky of IndieWire also praises the movie for not being afraid to test its young audience members with themes of mortality and appreciating the life you have. The critic grades this movie an A, saying:
There is some question as to how the family friendly offering will compete against Avatar: The Way of Water at the box office, and based on these positive reviews, it sounds like moviegoers will have a couple of good options. If you want to check out Puss in Boots: The Last Wish on the big screen, you can do so beginning Wednesday, December 21. Also be sure to take a peek at our 2023 Movie Release Schedule to see what’s coming to theaters in the new year.
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Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.