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

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

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.