Reviewed by: Charity Bishop
|Featuring:||Glenn Close, Gérard Depardieu, Ioan Gruffudd, Alice Evans, Robert Guédiguian|
|Producer:||Edward S. Feldman
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Pictures|
Glenn Close returns to the silver screen and her role as the devious dognapping Dalmatian-loathing Cruella deVil in this all-new action flick that picks up three years after the fashion designer’s incarceration for her crimes against 101 spotted puppies, bringing in an entire host of all-new characters and a fascinating new storyline.
This time, Cruella’s been released on parole, due to the extensive shock treatments of Dr. Palvov, who has clinically proven that a cruel nature can be reversed. And so far, it’s seemed to work. The proverbial lion sleeping beside the lamb has come into play, as Cruella proves her hatred for furs and adoration for the dogs. But the judge isn’t completely convinced, and announces that if she breaks parole, her entire fortune of eight million will go literally to the dogs.
Cruella’s parole officer, Chloe, as well as the well-meaning and oftentimes silly Kevan, owner of a second-rate dog shelter downtown, form a humorous and romantic side plot as they battle one another for belief in the “lady devil”—is she or is she not sincere, while the dogs play an important factor into the storyline, especially a self-conscious, spotless pup named Oddball.
But when the experiment goes array, and Cruella goes haywire, the Dalmatians are once again running for their lives. And this time, the game’s much more complex, with no bumbling Jasper and Horace to gum up the works.
This sequel is somewhat more “adult-oriented” than the first. The storyline may prove difficult for little kids to follow, but I think ages nine and up will get the drift. It has plenty of the same comic slapstick and the dogs literally steal the show, but the side characters are more personable and engaging than Roger and Anita were. A far cry from rewashed copies of the original, “102 Dalmatians” is a humorous ride into the world of Cruella, with plenty of faux fur and spots to go around.
There’s a moderate amount of violence, but nothing particularly graphic, and the most offensive thing in the whole movie is one of her cronies falling face-first into a toilet. Cruella shows some cleavage on several occasions, a woman appears in a *modest* fur bikini, and a side player wears a pair of tight fur shorts with a lion’s head in the front, but other than that, you’re home free. There’s no suggestive material, no bad language, and the lines between good and evil are clearly defined. All in all, a family-friendly flick that comes recommended.