Beverly Hills Chihuahua
The gritty, seedy world of Mexican dog fighting evoked in Amores Perros is (unsurprisingly) entirely missing from this brightly-lit family comedy from Raja Gosnell, the auteur behind Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.
Beverly Hills Chihuahua is a vapid fish-out-of-water confection, revolving around posh pooch Chloe (voiced by Drew Barrymore) who gets kidnapped from Rachel (Piper Perabo) during a vacation in the resort of Los Cabos. To keep Chloe’s real owner, Rachel’s aunt Vivian (Jamie Lee Curtis), in the dark, Rachel sets out to rescue the pampered pet from her potential fate at the hands of Mexican dogfighters.
With the talents of Andy Garcia and Placido Domingo among others chipping in, Beverly Hills Chihuahua is surprisingly talent-heavy for a one-joke talking-dog movie, and adults may squirm at seeing Curtis growling and whimpering for cheap laughs. The synchronisation of the human voices applied to the dogs is as fake as the musical choices are obvious (the opening montage fawning over affluent suburban life is accompanied by a blast of Gwen Stefani’s mega-hit ‘Rich Girl’). Any parents disturbed by the super-aggressive product placement in last year’s Enchanted may well conclude that Disney’s sense of child responsibility has long since gone to the dogs.
General release from Fri 16 Jan.