Cruella De Vil (Glenn Close) is released from jail and scientifically cleansed of her hatred of puppies, particularly Dalmatians.For awhile, I was thinking that maybe this was going to take a different twist and make Cruella likable (“Call me El”), but she pops a few gaskets (mainly her bifurcated black-and-white hair) and reverts to being “bad.” (The real question is, once the scientists discovered that the effects would wear off, why didn’t they recall Cruella?) At about that point of her succumbing to the evil side again (“If you repeat your offense, your entire estate will go to the dogs” — literally), she comes up with a plan to make that spotted coat she always wanted. While the movie is suitable and satisfactory for young kids, it’s blown out of proportion by the ridiculously inane script and over-the-top production. (How could it take four people to draft this dreck?) Where the first was enjoyable (though just as unnecessary when compared to the original cartoon) on either side of the aisle — adults or kids — this is to be quite the moaner for anyone over 10. Sure, the vivid production design and stylish costumes look nice, but that in no way contributes to anything this movie has to offer. A new starting point and a reversion to the same gags as the first (in addition to mindlessly dumbing this one down) hardly constitute a sequel, but apparently the greed and demand for money does. The most unforgivable thing about 102 Dalmatians comes with the dogs: they are extremely cute, that is, when they are real — even when they’re animatronic. But not when they’re computer animation. When the small children in the audience are pointing out how obvious it looks to their parents, I think my point is proven. CGI dogs are unacceptable!
Directed by Kevin Lima. With Alice Evans, Ioan Griffudd and Gerard Depardieu (looking like a reject from the World Wrestling Federation).[Not to be bothered with.]