A young Puss in Boots (Anotnio Banderas) is an orphaned kitten that makes his home at an orphanage in San Ricardo with his adoptive mother and best friend, Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis). Perpetual outcast and lofty dreamer, Humpty, and his made blood brother, Puss, have their fair share of run-ins with the Comandate (Guillermo del Toro!) and the law. One such incident tears the duo apart, forcing Puss to go on the run as a wanted feline.
It isn’t until years later that Puss is reunited with Humpty through a mysterious, masked caper who reveals herself as Kitty Softpaws (Selma Hayek). The three of them embark on an adventure to steal magic beans from a couple of brutish outlaws, Jack and Jill, to gain entrance to the castle in the sky for the giant’s riches. After successfully stealing the booty, all of their troubles begin.
I went into this expecting another ill-conceived, pointless spin-off but what I got was a silly, well-animated flick with plenty of humor and a genuinely emotional story to balance it out. I was literally laughing out loud. Maybe too loudly at the glaucoma/catnip reference that flew over the little ones’ heads and, to top it off, I was the only one… that was awkward. Needless to say, it felt good to connect with the kid inside of me and at the same time snicker at jokes clearly aimed at the adults in the audience. Good family fun for all ages!
A treasure hunter, Daniel (Sean Patrick Flannery), is searching for the legendary cache of Genghis Khan but it’s guarded by the famed cryptid, the Mongolian Death Worm. The creature’s nest is disturbed by the drilling of an American oil company that has set up shop in the Gobi Desert for an experimental project. Miles away, villagers are plagued by sickness and the only people to help them are Steffi (Jon Mack) and a few other nurses/doctors. They desperately await medicine and supplies from Alicia (Victoria Pratt) and Philip (Nate Rubin) who, en route to the makeshift clinic, cross paths with Daniel. All three of them are seized by token badass and outlaw, Kowlan (Billy Blair), and his thug posse.
Like most of SyFy’s productions, this has cheese galore, piss poor acting except for Pratt and Rubin, and crappy special effects but my biggest qualm is that the story takes forever to unfold. Most scenes take place at the oil drilling plant where the worms are scarce. This movie is called Mongolian Death Worm, right? Am I missing something? Yeah, the Mongolian Death Worms! Perhaps they were hiding from the cameras, embarrassed to be a part of this hideous movie, until the last 20 minutes when they sprung from the earth out of sheer curiosity or out of duty to the production company. The conversation probably went something like this…
Frank: Are they still up there?
Gordo: I think so. Let’s go check it out.
Frank: For $35, they’re getting one shot, that’s it.
Gordo: WTF? I only got, like, $20. All they’re getting from me is my tail.
Frank: Wow, dude, that’s harsh, sorry. What I wouldn’t give to eat one of the bastards.
Gordo: Victoria Pratt looks yummy.
Frank: On three?
Gordo: On three.
Frank: One… two… three!
When they finally decide to make an appearance, the Mongolian Death Worms are as threatening as common backyard earthworms. Even when they gobble someone up, all you see is the person’s legs and, weirdly, zero blood. Clearly, no humans were harmed in the making of this film. Being an extremely low budget flick, they poured what little cash they had into CGI and had none left over for make-up, not even for bruises (which a person usually ends up with after being sucker punched in the face). And who else was expecting a cameo by Genghis Khan after the ominous tale of his treasure trove and his Mongolian Death Worm protectors? I was disappointed. Very, very disappointed.