Beverly Hills Chihuahua finds director Raja Gosnell back on the talking-dog beat (following his live-action Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleased), this time in an ambitious, tongue-in-cheek comedy with a fun cast of onscreen and vocal actors. Piper Perabo plays Rachel, niece of a Beverly Hills eccentric (Jamie Lee Curtis) who spends much of her fortune pampering Chloe (voiced by Drew Barrymore), a spoiled Chihuahua used to pacing through this world with booties on her paws. Chloe gets dog-napped while Rachel takes a vacation in Mexico, and finds protection from a misfit German Shepherd named Delgado (Andy Garcia), who has a painful secret in his past. The two get into and out of a lot of scrapes, trying to stay ahead of a vicious dog (Edward James Olmos) working for the head of an illegal dogfight gambling syndicate. Computer effects turn the film’s many four-legged characters into talking critters capable of leaping onto train boxcars and leading the heroine into the Indiana Jones-like ancestral home of the chihuahua breed. The comedy is crisp and kid-friendly, the story of Chloe rise out of silliness into canine authenticity, plus the film’s surprising ambitiousness, are all very winning.


Raja Gosnell’s latest adventure “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” is no different. This Walt Disney production falls victim to a disappointing script full of annoying banalities, leaving behind a totally monotonous plot that lacks both action and humor.

Of course, I understand it is strictly a film for kids, but that doesn’t automatically mean it’s good. On the contrary, this is a perfect example of how filmmakers and studios can throw whatever crap at children because they know young audiences will buy it. Isn’t that just a little disturbing?

Anyway, the movie introduces us to Chloe (voiced by Drew Barrymore), a rich and spoiled Beverly Hills Chihuahua who enjoys wearing the most expensive dog clothes and spends the rest of her time hosting pool parties and getting anything from massages to pedicures (or should I call them pawdicures?)

Following a series of unfortunate events, Chloe ends up astray in Mexico, where a bunch of criminals engaging in illegal dogfights set everything in motion to capture her. At this point, her only hope is Papi (George Lopez), a courageous chihuahua who smells danger and embarks on a perilous journey to find the love of his life and bring her back home safe.

As adventurous as this may sound at first, “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” is not at all that exciting. Instead, it’s a rather boring film that spends 91 minutes following a bunch of dogs around Mexico. The dialogue between Chloe and the dogs she encounters along the way lacks humor, and the few risky situations she finds herself in lack suspense.

The DVD sports some rather interesting special features. You get a commentary with director Raja Gosnell, plus you get a ton of bloopers. I don’t get the purpose of the Legend of the Chihuahua cartoon. It feels like it was meant to air in theaters before the main show, but it doesn’t really have anything substantial to say. The deleted scenes are pretty solid, but they don’t really flesh out any more material. The film is average, but if you have kids…it’s going to be a purchase.

RELEASE DATE: 03/03/09



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