102 Dalmatians (2000)

Genres - Children's/Family  |   Sub-Genres - Animal Picture, Family-Oriented Comedy, Family-Oriented Adventure  |   Release Date - Nov 22, 2000 (USA)  |   Run Time - 101 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - G
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Review by Craig Butler

An uninspired sequel to the unnecessary live-action remake of 101 Dalmations, 102 Dalmations at least affords viewers the chance to enjoy Glenn Close's over-the-top and uninhibited performance. As with the first film, Close does everything she can to make the film work -- or at least move. That she eventually gets on the viewer's nerves is not really her fault; she's pretty much working alone, getting no help from anyone but the designers. Those designers do splendid work, although it seems like an enormous amount of effort being spent to decorate a pretty chintzy gift box. Still, Cruella's delirious costumes, high-camp hair and gothically comic estate are definitely worth a look. Gerard Depardieu, outfitted in one of the screen's ugliest ensembles, chews as much scenery as Close, but his work is too forced to be enjoyable. The rest of the cast is generally serviceable, if bland. The script is a mixture of every contrived "family film" plot turn that could be made to fit, and offers no help to the cast in terms of characterization. And the finale with a "baked" Cruella is bizarre and disturbing. Kevin Lima's direction is heavy-handed and obvious, and while the dogs cannot help but have charm and appeal, they can't carry as much of the movie as they are asked to.