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

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

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.