• Benia Richardson

Mizz De Vil: A review of Disney's Cruella


Two words: conflicting feelings. It’s something about the fact that it was a good movie to watch overall, but too long and often made me lose interest that just rubs me the wrong way. The promotional picture of Emma Stone as Cruella with the two bandits, makes you question if this particular remake is about to be the big hit many of us anticipated. It gives just the right amount of potential and plenty left up to the imagination. As for the film, it’s the duel of the Emma’s for me. Gotta love Emma Stone. Hands down, Easy A will always be a fave! Then there’s Emma Thompson from Nanny McPhee. I could easily watch it on repeat.

Overall, who doesn’t love a good origin story? ...of Disney’s most notorious villain, nonetheless. This particular one, however, may have been a tad bit on the side of disappointment. Even the trailer gives you a snippet of the typical story of a mean girl that was once the victim of a superior mean girl, herself. You can’t be mad at Disney for that, though. It’s Disney {insert Kanye shrug}. Can we really expect anything different from them? If you’re anything like me, the expectation for this production was pretty high. Especially with such a team that’s been behind so many other classic remakes. Rated PG-13 and I know why; the babies can not handle the ‘lewks’ in this film. Just kidding. A person of any age will drool at the imaginative fashion that two-time Oscar-winning costume designer Jenny Bavan created. Emma Stone and Glen Close served as two of the executive producers as well as two of the producers being Andrew Gunn who gave us Freaky Friday, and Marc Platt who gave us Mary Poppins Returns. Like these and so many others, Cruella was a tasteful and enjoyable take on one of the many classics. 1970s London never looked so good up on the big screen. Go figure she was rebellious and prone to mischief amidst the Punk Rock revolution, befriending two thieves. Early on, she made a life on the streets until her discovery and “big break” that she, then, flipped on its head in true villain nature, or should I say--fashion?! It’s interesting to find out that she was born with her distinctive two-toned hair. Message to embrace your natural-born differences, much? One can appreciate that positive takeaway. Just like the refreshing casting choice for Anita Darling (did you say that in Cruella’s voice?) Speaking of saying, a favorite quote would easily be: Being a genius is one thing, but raising a genius is another. The revenge on the Dalmatians was a very interesting plot twist, bruh! It’s safe to say that this is definitely worth the watch even for the doubters that are not-so-interested in the story of the miserable person once wronged now widely spreading their misery. A valid point as it’s a bit played out for a plot, but totally worth a second thought.

* STORY CONTINUED BELOW*


The movie is definitely a bit of a drag overall, but as a Disney fan and personally not easily

impressed by a sequel or remake, I’d give it another watch. The plot twist to the plot twist is a bit much, though. This totally could have been a series. That would have “given what it was ‘posed tuh gave” as the young people say, these days. It could have had the potential to rock our socks much like Bridgerton did. Imagine watching the full season in one sitting, but not by choice. It has a few layout and scenery discrepancies like the dogs traveling the green mile but the Baroness saché-ing through a straight shot via the same route to Estella at the end. And I definitely couldn’t help but get distracted by some of the off moments for the Cruella wig. Baby, sometimes that wig was la-ĀDE, and other times, it gave very much “I got the bike, Holiday”. The visuals that take the cake for me were the show-stopping looks, but the constant desire to turn it off and ample opportunities given for a wandering mind landed Cruella a generous 3.5 out of 5 stars.



As the first major Hollywood movie premiere since the onset of the pandemic, let’s just say overall it left room for the potential of the next expected box office hits. It’s a shocker that they made $26.5 million in the first week. Out of pure curiosity, I’m sure. The only thing that makes sense is their Tomatometer rating of 74%. Loving Emma Stone as much as I do, she deserved (and I’d much prefer) Disney+ having evolved to releasing this as a series premiere. I would have been more vested like Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events. It is, now, clear that the black and white basis of Cruella’s look represents the conflicting sentiment toward this post-pandemic picture show.






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