‘Cruella’ (2021) | Film Review

J’s Verdict – ☆☆☆1/2

I always felt like Cruella De Vil was such a disposable Disney Villain – even despite her wild, manic eyes in the original animated finale – so I was surprised to see yet another adaptation, this time a revisionist feature, come to life.

Directed energetically by Craig Gillespie (Lars and The Real Girl, Fright Night) and starring a fun cast led by deliciously wicked performances from Emma Stone and Emma Thompson, CRUELLA surprised me yet again by actually turning out to be lively, often amusing and entertaining.

The camera work is dazzling, the soundtrack makes turning up in the cinema worth it and the crime-comedy feel of the script keeps things zipping along in an entertaining, dark in a PG-13 way, way. Is it a Disney-fied JOKER like I keep hearing? I’m still unsure writing this.

It does feel a bit too long, at 135 minutes, and uneven with Cruella’s initial change or transformation or with the character in general – considering what the audience knows – but when it’s focusing on its crime comedy aspirations, it really works, largely to its cast of characters. And here I’ll highlight Joel Fry as Jasper, Paul Walter Hauser as Horace, Jamie Demetriou as an initial boss of Cruella and the many chihuahua’s who played Wink, because they surely delighted me.

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