If you're as antisocial as I am, you try your best to avoid public gatherings. You take your kids out of school for a trip to the water park rather than scheduling it on a crowded extended school weekend. Shopping at three o'clock in the morning at the 24-hour grocery store becomes a viable option just to avoid the unpleasant moment of having to say, "Excuse me," to get past somebody in the cereal aisle, lest you attract attention to how long you take to deliberate over which toy inside is the best.
Most of all, you avoid seeing movies on opening weekend at all costs, choosing instead to wait until the buzz has died down, or taking in the occasional Tuesday matinee, surrounded by octogenarians. That's where Transformer Generation Dad comes in to provide you with a week after review for one of the top current box office hits, Dreamworks' Shrek spinoff, Puss in Boots.
The Plus Side: Puss is a man, er, cat of action. This is on display throughout most of the film. There are fight scenes, chases and adventure galore throughout the film. My family and I opted not to see it in 3D (a choice beased entirely on what showing was scheduled when we could see it), but I could see how it might have been worth a few extra bucks to have the action popping out of the screen at you.
Of course, there is also humor. Some of it is geared toward adults, as it consistent with the Shrek franchise, but a great of deal of it will make your kids laugh without making you groan. There isn't a single joke in the movie that panders to a younger audience at the expense of the people who provided their rides to the theater. This places it firmly above films like Hop and the dreaded Chipmunks films (particularly the Squeakquel, during which I prayed for a natural disaster to strike me down in my seat).
The Down Side: The story, on the other hand, is lacking. Multiple fairy tales are thrown together the way a con artist drops names. There is no rhyme or reason, they merely try to stuff as many fairy tale references in as possible. That is one way in which the movie differed from the Shrek series. There was a moral to the story, but the way it was told was less unique and fresh than purely random. The main character was chosen and the rest was made up along the way to fill in the gaps.
This is a classic spinoff. It keeps you laughing and pulls you in with a familiar character, but neglects to raise the game any. It's almost as if you are just getting some extra footage form the previous films thrown together in a mildly entertaining format.
The Wrap-Up: To repeat, Puss in Boots is head and shoulders above films like Alvin and the Chipmunks and Hop. Your kids will enjoy it and you will not find yourself looking around for a sharp object with which to gouge out your eyes.
But Puss in Boots benefits most from being a spinoff of a much better series of films and lack of box office competition. I wouldn't go out of my way to see it in the theater, but if the plan was to go see a movie and I didn't have one in mind, it provides serviceable family entertainment. If you're already putting down the cash to see it, you might as well spend a few more bucks to view it in 3D.
TGD Rating: Puss in Boots receives the somewhat mediocre, respectable, but not awe inspiring rating of three fifth of a star. Your kids will like it. You won't hate it.
I hope this enhances your movie going pleasure. Enjoy the weekend, everybody.
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