Cruella ★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

"I'm just getting started, darling.”

Cruella is a 2021 American crime comedy film based on the character Cruella de Vil and was directed by Craig Gillespie. 

Another live action adaptation of one of Disney’s movies in the style of Maleficent, Cruella is kinda a mixed bag.

Emma Stone gives a campy yet fun performance as the titular character and she and Emma Thompson seem to be battling for who can chew the most scenery.  The entire cast is pretty solid for the most part, in fact, with some weak child acting being the only downside.

The costumes are a particular highlight, a lot of thought clearly went into the designs and whilst I do think the film over-relies on needle drops, the soundtrack is pretty solid.

Now onto my gripes — I’m not a huge fan of origin stories, I feel like they can ruin the mystique of a character or can even go to rehash a redemption, especially when that character is an established villain.

Cruella does this in spades by making the reason the villain iconically murders and skins Dalmations (something she never does in this film) is because… her adoptive mother was killed by a pack of them, controlled by her biological mother.

Oh dear.

Not only is this utterly ludicrous but the scene where we watch this act occur is so downright hilarious that it borders on parody.

The film lacks reason to exist because in the end, Cruella isn’t the iconic villain she’d become, she’s a generic character with a weird English accent. 

Overall, I didn’t expect much from Cruella but it certainly didn’t blow away my expectations either.  It ends up feeling bland and forgettable, much like many of Disney’s other live action remakes.

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