102 Dalmatians | Chicago Reader

102 Dalmatians

Arch criminal Cruella De Vil—Glenn Close in nifty ultrahigh-contrast outfits and wigs—has been rehabilitated since 101 Dalmatians (1996), but hearing the chimes of Big Ben somehow undoes her conditioning. To ensure that her dream coat made from dead dogs will finally become a reality, she joins forces with fashion designer Gerard Depardieu, who's introduced wearing a fake leopard's head as a codpiece and later has to put his head in a toilet. Eric Idle, providing the voice of a bird that thinks it's a dog, fares much better. Substituting references to Lady and the Tramp for screenwriting, a romantic subplot pairs De Vil's probation officer with the operator of an animal shelter that stands to inherit De Vil's millions. Only after De Vil's henchman gets his hands run over, in an incongruously violent close-up, does De Vil see she can neither have her cake nor eat it. The elaborate climax set in a Paris bakery is the least boring part of this trained-animal movie (2000). Kevin Lima directed a screenplay by Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan, Bob Tzudiker, and Noni White based on a novel by Dodie Smith; with Ioan Gruffudd, Alice Evans, and Tim McInnerny. 101 min.

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