Stars: 3 of 5.
Running Time: 96 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Produced by Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus' Cannon Films. Starring Christopher Walken, Jason Connery (son of Sean, THE LORDS OF DISCIPLINE, MERLIN), Carmela Marner (Cannon's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a waitress in EYES WIDE SHUT).
Tag-lines: "Meet the craftiest cat in the kingdom!"
Best one-liner: "Imagine giving you the sausage, Puss. I should make a sausage out of you. You'd make... one decent meal, and a fur cap. Is that all you can do for me, Puss? A sausage and a fur cap...?"
The trailer for PUSS IN BOOTS proclaims it to be 'A Cannon MOVIETALE' and shows a dusty, leatherbound tome emblazoned with their glorious logo which opens to reveal...
...Well, Golan and Globus, I'm not gonna lie- you had me at 'Cannon Movietale.' And what a tale it is.
Christopher Walken plays the eponymous feline in footwear as a 'man with a lot of cat-like tics.'
He's fantastic. But he's not a cat. My girlfriend remarked that the only thing that made Puss special was the fact that he was a CAT making all these shrewd, political power-plays. She said, "A MAN in boots ain't worth shit!" And it's kinda true. If it was just some schmo tooling around the countryside in boots, I'd have no reason to care. But since it's Walken, prancing and singing and dancing a jig, winking almost nonstop, ruffling his eyebrows to entice a pheasant, twirling his mustache, and taunting an ogre while trotting about in a deluxe Tricorner hat- I have to take this very seriously.
"I might explode, but,...
...what, the whoa...
...I still have got eight lives, to go!"
He's doing that thing he does where he removes all punctuation from the script and fashions his own grammatical rules (i.e., "Get me some boots" becomes "Get me, some boots...!"). This works wonderfully. "I might explode, but, what the whoa– I still have got eight lives, to go!" The movietale itself starts with a bang– within the first 15 seconds, we have got a storm, frightened peasants, and ogre (who I actually think SHREK ripped off)
transforming into lions, tigers, and bears via blue, electrical flashes!
Cannon does the best with their budget that they can. Sure, the royal carriage is made out of cardboard and the 'cat transformation' consists of flash cuts back and forth between Walken and a still image of a cat.
Now you see 'im...
...now ya don't. (Except for the shoulder poking past the inferior matte.)
And they couldn't get Sean, but they got A Connery (his son, Jason, who's no great shakes).
His father is famous for appearing in Cannon's SWORD OF THE VALIANT.
But the film's crowning, blunderous achievement is Carmela Marner as Princess Vera.
She is the worst. Forget critiquing the nuances of her performance- I don't even think she's off book! She makes 'Lisa' in THE ROOM look absolutely vivacious. In all, the mushy, wet powdered wigs of one particular scene make a great metaphor for this movietale as a whole... which I clearly still recommend!