Movie Review: “Cruella” is an over the top but fun Disney villain origin story

Cruella De Vil, the Dalmatians obsessed Disney villain, gets a movie of her own, and we get a wild and never dull ride through the stylish origin of the multi colored hair fashion designer, in an ultimately enjoyable affair that holds back nothing.

Academy Award winner, Emma Stone, stars as our title character, a trouble youth that has to turn to crime after tragedy. With dreams of becoming a style icon, she ends up under the tutelage of The Baroness, played fellow Oscar winner, Emma Thompson. The two engage in wild chess game for power that always keeps us off balance.

And it’s so much fun to watch.

Director Craig Gillespie gives these two wonderful actresses everything they need for a strong outing, and it all works. We get 1970s London, backed by some sharp camera work, and one of the best soundtracks in my recent memory, which serve as the perfect backdrop for Stone and Thompson as they play off of each other to near perfection. While it’s a live story Disney film, more award nominations for either of these two wouldn’t be a stretch. It actually doesn’t feel like a movie spun off of an animated film at all.

But it’s not perfect.

There is a lot of “Devil Wears Prada” here. It borrows a lot from Meryl Streep and Anne Hatthaway in that regard. Angles of the story are completely over the top and might have you cringing or eye rolling, even though it’s still amusing. And believe it or not, in a rare technical miss for Disney, of all things, the CGI Dalmatians don’t look that great.

Still, it’s a fun film and I recommend it. It plays beautifully on the big screen and Stone and Thompson will make it very much worth your time. They crush it.


Grade: B+

Rated PG 13

Running Time: 2 hours 8 minutes

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