Spot the Difference
To put things into perspective "102 Dalmatians" is not a bad movie, for it's target audience of young children who will enjoy watching Cruella de Vil get her comeuppance thanks to some cute dogs it is entertaining. But it does feel like a weak excuse for a sequel, a movie which seems to tread water for a while till eventually Cruella, having had therapy, reverts back to being evil and tries to kidnap 102 dalmatians. Basically it feels like a studio realising that an audience would go for another movie churned out something which didn't cost a lot in order to make money from an audience who enjoyed the first movie.
After having gone through therapy Cruella de Vil (Glenn Close - Air Force One) is released from prison a new woman, a woman who hates furs and loves dogs. It is why when she is assigned to dalmatian loving probation officer Chloe (Alice Evans - The Christmas Card) that Cruella takes it upon herself to help 2nd Chance a home for dogs run by Kevin (Ioan Gruffudd - Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer) who is on the verge of being evicted. But there is a flaw in Cruella's treatment and an encounter with Big Ben causes her to revert back to her old ways and with the help of her butler Alonzo (Tim McInnerny) and French fashion designer Jean-Pierre Le Pelt (GĂ©rard Depardieu) is after 102 dalmatians to finally make her dream fur coat.
So for all sense and purposes "102 Dalmatians" is a rehash of "101 Dalmatians" with just a few different characters. As such we have a touch of romance with probation officer Chloe falling for Kevin whilst Chloe's dalmatians have puppies including "Oddball" a spotless dalmatian. And then we have Cruella de Vil who whilst starting the movie as a changed woman reverts to type and so tries to get her hands on 102 dalmatians to make her fur coat. And that is it, basically the first movie rehashed with nothing really that different to make it feel fresh.
Now on one hand this isn't an issue because young children who enjoyed "101 Dalmatians" will again enjoy "102 Dalmatians" as it serves up more canine cuteness and comical comeuppance for Cruella and her cronies. But for anyone else it becomes a yawn fest because it feels little more than a rehash and one which doesn't really spark into life. By that I mean the humour is limp, the action predictable and the comical comeuppance for Cruella surprisingly disappointing.
Now in many ways "102 Dalmatians" is all about Glenn Close reprising her role as Cruella and Close certainly gives it her all to make Cruella a comical character. But maybe she gives it a little too much because Cruella becomes annoying almost annoying as Gerard Depardieu as French fashion designer Jean-Pierre Le Pelt. And unfortunately at the other end of the scale Alice Evans and Ioan Gruffudd end up a bit too weak as Chloe and Kevin although they work nicely together. In the end the star of this sequel for me is Tim McInnerny as Alonzo because it is McInnerny who delivers the biggest laughs being at the end of a lot of pratfalls.
What this all boils down to is that "102 Dalmatians" is an adequate sequel which works for its target audience of young children. But for anyone else it is a weak rehash which fails to add anything really new to the mix to make it fun.
Tags: Dog Movies