Beverly Hills Chihuahua 1 & 2
Beverly Hills Chihuahua
Though it certainly seems possible that small children will thrill to the exceedingly silly antics of the various characters, Beverly Hills Chihuahua's dearth of attributes geared towards older viewers ensures that the movie is ultimately about as enthralling as a low-rent Saturday morning cartoon. The storyline follows a wealthy businesswoman (Jamie Lee Curtis' Vivian) as she entrusts the care of her beloved chihuahua (Drew Barrymore's Chloe) to her irresponsible niece (Piper Perabo's Rachel), with chaos ensuing after Rachel's carelessness eventually leads to Chloe's abduction by a ruthless dognapper. The bulk of the film subsequently follows Chloe's efforts at finding her way back home, in a journey that pairs her with a grizzled former police dog (Andy Garcia's Delgado) and ultimately teaches the spoiled pooch a series of valuable life lessons. It's a predictable set-up that's employed to pervasively hackneyed effect by director Raja Gosnell, as the filmmaker - working from a script by Analisa LaBianco and Jeff Bushell - consistently bogs the proceedings down with some of the hoariest cliches one could possibly imagine (ie Buster Poindexter's "Hot Hot Hot" accompanies Rachel's arrival into Mexico). Far more problematic, however, is the relentless emphasis on precisely the sort of hopelessly juvenile elements that'll surely leave even the most open-minded viewer rolling their eyes, with Garcia's surprisingly strong work - ie he's giving an actual performance here - the one highlight within a film that's otherwise entirely disposable.
Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2
Consistently tedious and utterly pointless, Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 opens with Papi (George Lopez) and Chloe's (Odette Yustman) wedding and subsequently follows the pair as they attempt to deal with a litter of rambunctious puppies. Meanwhile, Papi's owner, Sam (Marcus Coloma), is stunned to learn that his parents have one week to come up with $40,000 or else they'll lose their home - with the film primarily detailing Sam's ongoing efforts at raising the cash. It's clear right from the outset that Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 has been modeled after Disney's inexplicably popular Air Buddies series, as the film boasts a pervasive emphasis on many of the elements that have come to define that abominable franchise (including one-dimensional characters, simplistic situations, and juvenile jokes and gags). And although there are admittedly one or two relatively amusing moments sprinkled throughout - ie Chloe performs Beethoven's Für Elise on a tiny grand piano at a talent competition - Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 ultimately comes off as a pointedly kid-centric endeavor that boasts few attributes designed to sustain the interest of older viewers (with the abundance of moustache-twirling villains, ie the snooty dog-show judge, the obnoxious bank executive, etc, emblematic of the film's low-rent sensibilities).