Beverly Hills Chihuahua

"Weak"

Beverly Hills Chihuahua Review


Of all the misguided movie genres, the modern family film is the most disingenuous. While it argues that it's merely providing "quality" entertainment to those underserved by Hollywood's obsession with sex and violence, the truth is that most G- to PG-rated fare is far more insidious. Applying a sugar-coated Saturday morning superficiality to what's supposed to pass for pleasantries, the Tinsel Town machine still finds a way to manufacture out all the fun. Disney's disappointing live action comedy Beverly Hills Chihuahua can be accused of a great many faults -- indirect racism, single digit IQ writing, past-tense pop culture awareness -- but one thing it cannot claim is an ability to reach beyond its typical tween demographic.

Chloe (the voice of Drew Barrymore) is the most pampered pooch in all of sunny LaLa Land. Her owner (Jamie Lee Curtis) is a rich cosmetics titan who indulges her pet's every non-human whim. When the mogul needs to fly off to Europe to launch her new line, she must rely on her prissy, high strung niece Rachel (Piper Perabo) to mind her valuable canine. Showing just how responsible she is, our substitute sitter instantly accepts an invitation to weekend in Mexico, and takes Chloe along for the unnecessary ride. Dognappers eventually hijack the hound, and it's up to an ex-cop German Shepherd (voiced by Andy Garcia), a good natured landscaper (Manolo Cardona), and his frisky Chihuahua Papi (voiced by George Lopez) to rescue the four footed female before it's too late.

Just imagine how the amiable cast of Latin American and Hispanic actors -- names like Paul Rodriguez, Cheech Marin, Luis Guzman, and Edward James Olmos -- must have felt when they learned that the House of Mouse wanted to gather them all together and feature them in a film... about dogs... who indulge in the same kind of pseudo smear stereotyping that makes Speedy Gonzales look like Placido Domingo (who's also involved here). Beverly Hills Chihuahua is not actually mean-spirited in its ethnic leanings. But it also understands that the wee ones, those who will force their parents to line up for everything related to this movie and its marketing, don't understand subtlety. So the broader and more slapstick, the better. In fact, this film is really nothing more than a below-average CG stunt where actual animals substitute for the anthropomorphized cartoon kind.

When one sees the phrase "A Film by Raja Gosnell" on the credits, it's usually time to abandon most, if not all hope. After all, this is the mediocre directorial mastermind behind the Scooby-Doo debacles, as well as other surefire stinkers like Big Momma's House and Yours, Mine, and Ours. He indulges in all kinds of shortcuts. He assumes cute will compensate for characterization while the silent-film-era damsel-in-distress plot navigates uncomfortably between mandatory music montages. Some will see this as a step up for Gosnell, since he doesn't totally embarrass himself and serves the material (and the proposed demo) quite well. And most of the time, he finds a way to match the actors with the personality of their onscreen animals.

Talking animal films have been around since the start of the artform and they can usually be counted on for providing a mindless smile or two. Beverly Hills Chihuahua doesn't stray from that sense of familiarity. It will delight those whose aesthetic is still under construction, while providing the more gullible in the adult audience a few giggles. There's even a post-modern message about responsibility thrown in for good measure. If you want true family film value, look elsewhere. This is a shallow cinematic shill at best.

The only way to watch Coyote Ugly.



Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Facts and Figures

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Friday 3rd October 2008

Box Office USA: $94.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $134.5M

Budget: $20M

Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures

Production compaines: Walt Disney Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 41%
Fresh: 39 Rotten: 57

IMDB: 3.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , Todd Lieberman

Starring: as Chloe (voice), as Rachel Ashe Lynn, as Delgado (voice), as Papi (voice), as Chico (voice), as Monte (voice), as Diablo (voice), as Delta (voice), as Aunt Viv, as Chucho (voice), Eddie 'Piolin' Sotelo as Rafa (voice), Carlos Juvera as Tomás (voice)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Since its true story is still so timely after some 150 years, we can forgive...

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

This reunion of actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg feels like a natural successor...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Advertisement
Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.