Puss in Boots: The Last Wish review – sequel no one wanted resembles longform DVD extra

Somewhat mystifyingly, some top-secret algorithmic function in DreamWorks Animation’s audience-reaction data analysis software has decreed that yet another comeback is in order for the sort of OK-ish and meh-plus character of Puss in Boots, smokily voiced by Antonio Banderas, originally seen in 2004 in Shrek 2, and then in the 2010 spinoff feature Puss in Boots. The numbers have come chuntering out of the side of some giant IBM-style computer, the suits have frowningly inspected them, and another tranche of Puss in Boots content has been greenlit.

Once again, debonair outlaw Puss in Boots – a sort of cleaned-up southern European version of Jack Sparrow – is having sword-twirling adventures, again in the company of his paramour Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek); but now PiB must confront his own mortality, having used up eight of his nine lives. He is on a quest to put off the evil hour by finding the legendary wishing star which once fell to earth like a comet; he and Kitty join forces with the perky mutt Perrito (Harvey Guillén), but must battle other fairytale/nursery-rhyme honchos, including a Cockney crime family in the form of Goldilocks (Florence Pugh) and the Three Bears (Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone and Samson Kayo), and “Big” Jack Horner (John Mulaney) – to whom all the funny lines are given. Wagner Moura voices the Wolf, who is the grim reaper, wielding a couple of sickles.

Really, this movie is a huge 102-minute additional scene, something that would go on the extras package of a Blu-ray edition of the previous Puss in Boots film, or possibly get its own video-on-demand release. It feels like something to put on your TV or iPad to pacify a toddler; nothing wrong with that, of course, and many stressed parents would call it the noblest artistic calling. But how bland and forgettable this film is, without in the smallest way harnessing the real performing power of Banderas, Colman, Pugh, Winstone et al.

• Puss In Boots: The Last Wish is released on 3 February in UK cinemas.