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Laramie Movie Scope:
102 Dalmatians

Another sequel that fails to live up to the original

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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November 25, 2000 -- Very few sequels live up to the original film and "102 Dalmatians" is no exception, even though it did not have all that much to live up to. It is generally uninspired, has a weak story and the jokes are fairly lame. Even so, it may be better for kids than the Grinch movie that's in theaters now. At least it is fairly harmless, and it has cute animals.

The story begins with the rehabilitation of the wicked Cruella De Vil (Glenn Close of "Cookie's Fortune" reprises her role as De Vil). At first, she is rehabilitated, but of course she relapses into her old dognapping behavior. She is aided by her minions, including Jean Pierre Le Pelt (played by Gérard Depardieu of "The Man in the Iron Mask," looking very strange in a punk hairdo), along with Alonso (Tim McInnerny reprises his role as De Vil's pathetic, misguided servant from the first film).

The target of De Vil's spotted fur lust is a dalmatian family owned by her probation officer, Cloe (played by Alice Evans). Meanwhile, she uses an animal shelter run by Cloe's friend Kevin (Ioan Gruffudd) to make it look like she has really reformed. The situation escalates into an international chase to save the puppies from destruction. Naturally the animals have a paw in the outcome of the tale. The animals are anthropomorphised to the max.

In addition to a large number of cute, and not so cute, dogs in the film, there is also a talking parrot (voice by Eric Idle of "Monty Python" fame. The parrot, who thinks he is a dog, is amusing. The romance between Cloe and Kevin is unconvincing, but Close is a stunning as the outrageous Cruella. She's so far over the top she punches a hole in the top of the screen. Unfortunately, Close would have to chew up a lot more scenery than this to make this movie appetizing. The film is so bland and so limp, even with Disney's trademark cute animal tricks, it would take a 300-amp shock to get its heart beating. It rates a D+.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2000 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)