May 2, 2009

Beverly Hills Chihuahua review

Beverly Hills Chihuahua
Drew Barrymore, George Lopez
Disney Pictures

In the 2000's, Disney started showing bad signs of quality loss. When Home on the Range was released, Disney then said that it would be the last traditionally animated movie they'll ever make (but now they're eating their words) and this was when it all started sliding down.

Fortunately for Disney, they just settled their contract dispute with Pixar by buying it off, rendering the animation studio to be stuck with Disney as their distributor. This then started the indirect proportion between the quality of both studios- no one cared especially Disney, because they got the benefit of being able to both profit from and copy the works of this studio.

What do I mean by "copy from"? And why the hell is all this information important?

Frankly, one could argue that Beverly Hills Chihuahua traces its origins to the 2003 Pixar film Finding Nemo. True, Finding Nemo wasn't the first road trip movie, but both share a lot of similarities: premise, the use of talking animals, the road trip, the necessity of using quirky characters, as well as requiring the presence of a sorta-kinda disabled character. So there you go, Beverly Hills Chihuahua basically tries to copy the layout Pixar laid in the fish story, and it fails miserably.

Perhaps some guy walked up to a Disney executive and said, "let's rip off Finding Nemo's premise of finding a loved one-- but with dogs! It would make more money than that movie because dogs charm the socks off of everyone!", and truly did it earn loads of money, but less critical acclaim. Obviously, there's something wrong with this damn movie.

First set in Beverly Hills, the premise sees ultra-pampered chihuahua Chloe getting swept away from her master and into Mexico. When admirer Papi knows about this, he goes and finds her- meeting several quirky animals along the way. Chloe, who's also richer than any of us due to her nastily jewel-encrusted collar, also meets several animals along the road like a mouse, an iguana and a German Shepherd with a psychological nose problem and, apparently, the only thing near to a deep, 3-dimensional backstory.

But instead of fun (although there are some actually fun parts), there's stupidity, there's face-smacking-ly-bad and/or pointless scenes, and ultimately, some racist overtones to go with it. Seriously, even if Chichen Itza is in Mexico, doesn't mean it has to be infested with decidedly stereotypical "tribal dogs". Ethnic groups in movies are all right with me, but when you hear the voice of the tribal chief and just know that it is the tribal chief, there's something ethnically wrong with the movie.

Of all the random things that happen in this flick, it ultimately comes to that awfully predictable ending as well as that "climactic" fight for you life scene. Damn it, if the colors and CGI weren't so impressive, I would've walked out. To be honest though, I already did walk out several times during the movie, and when I came back I can automatically just disregard those other parts because I am able to understand what already happened in my absence. It's that predictable and stupid. Even if I do predict some of the events wrong, I still call foul on this movie.

To be fair, the voice acting is pretty good, the two main human actors are one-dimensional and the kids (as well as dog lovers, I guess) will love it- if only for the charm the dogs exude. Ultimately, it's mediocre- something that's more likely to come out of Dreamwork's ass- and it hits a few high notes along the way, admittedly.

Rating: 4/10

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