Main cast: Glenn Close (Cruella De Vil), Ioan Gruffudd (Kevin Shepherd), Alice Evans (Chloe Simon), and Gérard Depardieu (Jean Pierre Le Pelt)
Director: Kevin Lima
Is Disney turning into a quality-free mass manufacturer of overpriced soft toys masquerading as movies? Judging from 102 Dalmatians, I am starting to buy this theory. Apart from probably making many, many kids adopting dalmatian puppies this Christmas (and abandoning them next year), buying Disney-trademarked dalmatian soft toys, and parents scrambling for the home video, this movie has little other use.
Cruella De Vil is now a rehabilitated dog-lover, thanks to Dr Pavlov’s secret treatments. The use of Pavlov’s methods as a revenge method on canine-hating humans is the only brilliant use of humor and irony here. Of course, dog-loving Chloe, Cruella’s parole officer, and her boyfriend Kevin have doubts.
But when Cruella hooks up with former cohort Jean Pierre (Gerard Depardieu, humiliating himself thoroughly in a herculean effort that surely deserves an award), well, she starts craving for dalmatian fur robes. Again.
So I am subjected to the usual Disney stuff. Dog kissing after seeing that scene in Lady and the Tramp (how’s that for product placement?). Parrot guru watching over albino dalmatian hero (the underdog, get it?). Cruella falling. Cruella stumbling. Cruella screaming.
Zzzzz… What a colossal bore.