The sequel to the live-action “101 Dalmations,” which was a remake of the original 1966 Disney-animated feature, which was originally based on a book by the same name explodes onto screens with only one member of the original’s cast, Glenn Close. Close reprises her role as Cruella De Ville while Jeff Daniels, romantic interest Joely Richardson, and dalmation lead Pongo take a pass on the sequel. Cruella, who prefers to be called “Ella” now, has been rehabilitated. After Dr. Pavlov (that’s creative) has cured her of her desire for fur and she only wishes to help dalmation dogs instead of skin them and turn them into coats. Enter some new lead chick we don’t care about, um, whose name escapes me, but she is now the owner of Dipstick, one of the cute pups from the first movie. This chick is a parole officer and in charge of Cruella whose miraculous conversion to dog lover seems mighty suspicious. Of course, her recovery is short-lived and Cruella gets back to her fur-loving self after hearing the bells of Big Ben. Can the new chick we don’t care about save her new litter of dalmation pups from Cruella and her band of sick dog killers? Do any of us care?
Other hack critics, myself included, will be making the inevitable “this sequel has gone to the dogs” type of analogies in almost every review, so I think I’ll just give you 102 reasons NOT to see “102 Dalmations.”
[ 102 REASONS NOT TO SEE “102 DALMATIONS” ] ^ [ 1. IT’S TOO CUTE ] ^ The new lead dog is “Oddball,” a self-conscious dalmation pup without any spots. It’s so cute. Not really.
[ 2. KIDS LOVE CUTE! ] ^ Yeah, and most kids eat their own boogers too.
[ 3. ADULTS WILL BE BORED ] ^ If you’re like me, you pay for the popcorn, the parking and the tickets and at least expect something out of the deal. At best, you’ll get a good nap.
[ 4. NO JEFF DANIELS ] ^ I never thought that this would actually be a reason to not see a movie, but his sad-sack, regular guy humor is actually missing.
[ 5. DIRECT TO VIDEO ] ^ The whole thing has the feel of a “Direct-to-Video” movie that was released in theaters because Disney needed a movie to open during Thanksgiving. Don’t get sucked in when this comes to video since it’s not worth seeing on television either.
[ 6. GLENN CLOSE HAS ENOUGH MONEY ] ^ Hey, I love Glenn Close and this film won’t hurt her well-respected career. She’s already been paid, so there’s no reason to line the pockets of Disney executives who will be the only ones to benefit if the movie does well.
[ 7. NO-NAME CAST ] ^ Outside of Glenn Close, I’ve never heard of anyone in this film and I had a hard time keeping track of some of the actors since they’re all a bunch of White-bread, milque-toast bores. Oh, wait, there is an English parolee with really bad teeth and he was boring too.
[ 8. IT’S A COMMERCIAL FOR THE TOYS ] ^ The entire film is just one long commercial to encourage children to bug the crap out of their parents to buy them all the toys. This is made even more clear when the film is viewed at Hollywood’s El Capitan theater where I saw it. There is a Disney Store connected to the movie theater that’s all done up in dogs with spots and it’s impossible to pass without the nagging and the tugging of a child. Bypass the movie altogether so you won’t have to buy the toys!
[ 9. THE MOVIE IS A DOG ] ^ I’ve got more than a hundred to go and I had to get at least one dog reference in the list.
[ 10. GERARD DEPARDIEU ] ^ Um, what the heck is Gerard Depardieu doing slumming in this movie? I don’t even enjoy him as an actor when he stars in a GOOD movie, much less a crappy sequel to a remake. And that reminds me…
[ 11. THIS IS A CRAPPY SEQUEL TO A REMAKE ] ^ Just wanted to point this out for the second or third time in case you missed it.
[ 12. A TRAMP IS BETTER ] ^ There’s a romantic scene in the film where the two leads get their dogs to watch the Disney-animated film, “The Lady and the Tramp” and it seems so much better than “102 Dalmations,” I wish they would have kept the video within the film going.
[ 13. – 102. UH, WHO AM I KIDDING? ] ^ I can’t come up with 102, but if I haven’t convinced you not to see it by now, then you must be one of those frightening Disney nerds who goes to see every Mouse movie, so nothing I say can stop you.