If you asked someone which iconic movie sequel that was 10+ years in the making and finally released in 2022 has a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, they would probably say Avatar: The Way of Water. They would be wrong. Avatar has a mere 78%. The sequel with 95% is none other than Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. If you haven’t seen it, that might seem absurd, and maybe even a little inflated. However, those who have completely understood why. The fact of the matter is that this gloriously animated sequel is a pure delight!
Yes, it has a standard adventure plot, but does that really matter? What has always been most important is execution, and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish manages to take its concept and have endless fun with it. The sheer entertainment value is embellished by spectacular animation. In a time where animation is dominated by hyper-realism, this film takes a few notes from Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse and blends its 3D style with that of a storybook. This results in a film that is simultaneously gorgeous and inventive. Every frame is stunning, colorful, and stylistic, especially during the riveting fight scenes. But every moment makes each audience member, no matter how old or young, feel like a child watching a rainbow.
The true highlight, though, has to be the remarkable voice acting. This A-list cast brought their A-game. Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek continue to bring these iconic characters to life and really make them their own. But as great as they are, the standouts are the new cast members. Particularly, What We Do In The Shadows star Harvey Guillén is pitch-perfect as Puss’s new dog friend Perrito. Harvey has such a fun voice and brings so much love and joy to this character. Perrito is a bundle of happiness and he just sounds effortlessly adorable. The other notable cast members are Florence Pugh and Oscar winner Olivia Colman, who are both just so great. Florence has always been so spunky and fun, so she shines as Goldilocks. And this might sound controversial, but Olivia Colman in her voice acting roles is Olivia Colman at her best. Whether she’s playing a loving mama bear in here, a supervillain cell phone, or a Bulgarian grandma, she gives each voiceover role her all and elevates her material.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish has no right to be as good as it is, but it just works. Thematically, the idea that you have to live life to its fullest is nothing new, but is presented in a unique and interesting way. Narratively, the plot is too damn fun and concludes in a deeply satisfying way. And cinematically, this is one of the best theatrical experiences of the year thanks to its awe-inspiring visuals. If you only go to see one film this holiday season, make it Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. It is simply a movie no one could dislike.