Think of this as a guide through each of Christopher Walken's films, starting with his first and moving forward. Each review will provide analysis, factoids and opinion on the ninety-plus films in his career.
Walken in Short: As the eponymous feline, Walken channels the spirit of a cat. A savvy cat. A singing, dancing cat. A preening, scheming, happy cat. Also, he gleefully tells outrageous lies to nearly everyone, and he is eager to kill in order to please his master… oh that rascally cat!
Movie in a Sentence: Corin (Jason Connery) is just a naive and shy Miller’s son, who is bequeathed a magical house-cat, who when given a pair of boots, can transform himself into a man (Christopher Walken), and that man/cat will do anything to provide his Master with a happily-ever-after life.
Writer: Carole Lucia Satrina (Based on the fairytale “Le Chat Botté” by Charles Perrault)
Duration: One hour and 36 minutes
MPAA Rating: ‘G’ – This is kid’s stuff, through and through. And by ‘kid’, I mean no older than 6 or 7.
Actors Other Than Walken: Jason Connery (son of the great Scot: Sir Sean Connery), and Carmela Marner (I have been unable to confirm that she is the director’s daughter, but let’s go ahead and just assume that, m’kay?)
Similar Films: This film is one of nine created as part of the ‘Cannon Movie Tales‘, an Israel-based production of Brothers Grimm tales and other similar folk-tales: Rumpelstiltskin, Red Riding Hood, etc. They all have the same crappy feel to them, and they usually have a recurring cast of local nobodies, and then one or two Big Names to star. Rebecca de Mornay did BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Helen Hunt was in THE FROG PRINCE, and so on. All nine should be available to watch on youtube if you’re still curious about them after reading this.
FUN FACT: Walken has mentioned that this is one of his favorite films!
General Thoughts: Okay listen. If this were JUST about Walken’s role in this, I’d say: absolutely, watch this right now. Because he gets to play a cat, and he gets to sing and dance, and he looks like he’s having a blast. But the bigger picture is that the rest of the film is DREADFULLY awful. The story at its core is good, it’s a classic rags-to-riches tale, with a mean old ogre, a feisty princess, magic clothing, and a battle of wits. But they took a four-paragraph short-story and turned it into an hour-and-a-half feature film WITHOUT ADDING ANYTHING.
The characters have no depth to them, no subtext. The dialogue is sub-moronic, the acting is like something out of a high school play, and the music… well, to be honest, the music wasn’t so bad. It was terrible in spots, but it had it’s moments of charm, I suppose. But that also may just be in contrast to how bad everything else was. It’s certainly no Andrew Lloyd Webber!
Walken Content: 85% – Despite the romance between the miller’s son and the princess becoming the dominant story-thread, Walken weaves his feline presence throughout the entire tale, offering a steady respite from the dreck that everyone else produces. He is the lead, and as entertaining as he is, he is the only conceivable reason to endure this homemade-lobotomy of a movie.
“Many years ago when I was just a kitten, a wicked man threw me in the mill-pond. It was your father fished me out. Since then, I’ve loved your family. In all these many years I’ve lived pretty well with you, so don’t think that I’d leave you now that you have nothing. And don’t think that I don’t know your heart’s desire. For I’ve always observed you. That’s what a cat does best: Sit. Watch.”
~ Puss in Boots (Walken)
Should You Watch This? No. And don’t let children watch this either. It can’t be good for their health. Also, sometimes people play movies for their pets while they’re away. Please, don’t make your bird/hamster/bunny/turtle or dog watch this unless they are fully capable of watching it ironically.* If so, then that’s fine. Share a laugh at it with your turtle; it is worthy of your ridicule. As always, feel free to fully enjoy the moments when Walken is onscreen, because he’s a delight, it’s true, but holy guacamole this movie is painful.
*Cats can watch this. In fact, all cats enjoy everything ironically (FUN FACT!), so they are naturally immune to any harmful effects that this film may incur.