Beverly Hills Chihuahua (U)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner14/01/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 98 mins

Watchable, largely average family movie, enlivened by decent performances and the occasionally surreal, off-the-wall moment.

What's it all about?
Directed by Raja Gosnell (who has form for this sort of thing, having directed two Scooby Doo movies), Beverly Hills Chihuahua stars Drew Barrymore as the voice of pampered Beverly Hills chihuahua Chloe, whose wealthy owner Viv (Jamie Lee Curtis) leaves her in the care of her irresponsible niece Rachel (Piper Perabo) when she has to go abroad for work. However, on a trip to Mexico, Chloe gets dog-napped by dog-fighters and thrown into the ring with the evil Diablo (Edward James Olmos), the lead dog-napper's right-hand dog.

Fortunately, Chloe escapes, with the aid of grizzled ex-police dog Delgado (Andy Garcia), who has a history with Diablo. Meanwhile, Rachel, Viv's gardener Sam (Manolo Cardona) and Sam's perky dog Papi (George Lopez) embark on a frantic search for Chloe, hoping to rescue her before Viv returns from her work trip.

The Good
As talking dog movies go, Beverly Hills Chihuahua is surprisingly watchable, thanks to a strong voice cast (Barrymore, Garcia and Lopez are all excellent) and likeable performances from Perabo and Cardona. The film also has a smattering of good one-liners and Gosnell keeps things moving by having the characters constantly running from one place to the next.

The film is also enlivened by a couple of delightfully surreal, off-the-wall moments, such as Chloe meeting an Aztec chihuahua civilisation or Delgado's traumatic backstory, complete with doggy flashbacks.

The Bad
That said, some of the CGI doggies are decidedly dodgy, while the Mexican characterisations are borderline offensive (Papi is given to asides like "Hold your tacos!"). It's also fair to say that a lot of the humour doesn't work at all (notably Cheech Marin and Paul Rodriguez's rat and iguana con artist double act), though the film's target audience of young children probably won't notice.

Worth seeing?
Cheesy though it is, the surreal moments and strong cast ensure that Beverley Hills Chihuahua is watchable enough, if you end up getting dragged to see it.

Film Trailer

Beverly Hills Chihuahua (U)
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Content updated: 21/09/2018 18:39

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