the fresh films reviews

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101 Dalmatians (1996)

Stephen Herek

John Hughes
Ricardo Mestres

John Hughes



101 dalmatinere

93 minutes

Cast includes:

Cruela De Vil Glenn Close
Roger Jeff Daniels
Anita Joely Richardson
Nanny Joan Plowright



Here comes 101 Dalmatians as a live-action movie, for young and old moviegoers who love dogs or the 1961 animated film, for that matter. As directed by Stephen Herek (The Three Musketeers) and written and produced by John Hughes (you know him), the film combines comedy, excitement, drama and dog-action in a clever, Disneyesque fashion. It's all mostly enjoyable, although not devoid of cringeworthy moments. Explicitly, the film appears morally sound, but if you start digging on an implicit level, you might find yourself raising questions. And those questions may well look a little like the questions which may have been raised while watching some of John Hughes' latest films. The bad guys here behave more or less the same way as Pesci/Stern did in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, so Hughes seems to continue on that same excessive note. But before Cruella De Vil goes completely overboard, she is quite amusing and entertaining. And she's also perfectly cast, with Glenn Close delivering her lines with apt callousness. Another fun ingredient is the pairing of Jeff Daniels and Joely Richardson, who work well together, particularly in the film's first part. And of course, the dogs themselves are given a suitable amount of time and opportunity to shine. They will no doubt be the star of this show for many among the younger viewers. Let's just hope they won't read too much into the simplistic worldview the film purports.

Copyright 29.10.1997 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
(English version: 22.03.2021 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang)