I have not seen Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and I never will. But from watching the short trailer, I feel capable of accurately reviewing the film before it is unleashed upon the unsuspecting world this October.
From what I’ve read on IMDB, Beverly Hills Chihuahua is a live-action children’s movie with talking animals. My best guess is that most of the characters will be Chihuahuas, voiced by actors who are less popular than Smash Mouth.
The first voice “talent” listed is Drew Barrymore who is, surprisingly, still alive. (Was Alicia Silverstone busy?) Her character is named Chloe, who is probably a Chihuahua from Beverly Hills. Concerned viewers should not worry about Barrymore’s experience behind the microphone; according to Wikipedia’s essential trivia section, this is “the second time Drew Barrymore voices a dog.”
The other main character is Bobby, voiced by George Lopez. The one thing that George Lopez has going for him is that he is not Carlos Mencia. In fact, if Beverly Hills Chihuahua has one strength, it’s that Carlos Mencia does not seem to be involved with the film in any way.
The rest of the voices include Andy Garcia, Salma Hayek, Eugenio Derbez, Cheech Marin, Paul Rodriguez, Plácido Domingo, Luis Guzman, and Edward James Olmos. Notice something peculiar about the cast? That’s right. Disney has hand-picked every established Hollywood actor who is Mexican or at least looks kinda Mexican. The only one missing is Danny Trejo, who Disney probably deemed too ugly to do a voiceover.
One respectful omission was John Leguizamo, who is frequently miscast as Mexican despite being Colombian, Puerto Rican, and Italian. Perhaps the casting director for Beverly Hills Chihuahua saw any of these films.
“Talking Animal Flick” must be a template in Microsoft Word because they always have identical plot lines. Through a freak accident, the protagonist pet gets lost and spends the film trying to get home. Along the way, the protagonist(s) meet a number of colorful characters who somehow play into the racial stereotypes of the animal kingdom. The villain of the film will be a dogcatcher, or more likely, a pair of dogcatchers. Their slapstick humor would make Mr. Bean roll over in his grave, even though he isn’t dead.
In this film, the dogcatcher duo is outsmarted by the Chihuahuas, who use “teamwork” and “friendship” to overcome adversity and triumph in the end. Chloe returns to her owners, and everyone lives happily ever after.
Or do they?
This is where Beverly Hills Chihuahua, despite appearing to be another formulaic kid’s film, takes a daring turn.
The dogcatchers return after several years of incarceration. They break into the home of Chloe’s owners and hold the family hostage at gunpoint. One of the dogcatchers recognizes the dog that bit him in the behind, Bobby (George Lopez), and splatters the pooch’s brains on the floor. Then follows a brutal rape scene wherein the dogcatchers take turns violating Chloe (Drew Barrymore), while the family watches in horror.
The villains set the home ablaze with the family still inside, and as they leave, one of them (Andy Dick) turns and says, “You should have spayed and neutered your pets.”
The final shot shows the words, “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.”
Beverly Hills Chihuahua may not be sophisticated, but it is fun for the whole family. The film is rated PG for mild peril and rude humor.