Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008, Raja Gosnell)

Well… that happened. I knew that the Offspring was looking forward to this one, so when Angela fell ill again this past weekend, I bit the bullet and took him so he wouldn’t be cooped up all day. As expected, this is pretty shabby goods- I’m not a big fan of talking-animal movies anyway (the Babe franchise notwithstanding, natch), and since Chihuahuas are more or less my least favorite dogs, I knew I was going to be in for a long slog. But what really surprised me was how little effort the filmmakers put forth in making this thing. Lord knows I was no fan of the notorious teaser, but at least that tried to show some originality and pizzazz, however misguided. The movie itself, on the other hand, is pretty much the laziest possible movie that could have made from the premise- basically, a cut-rate canine Legally Blonde Goes to Mexico. It’s as though Disney figured that the once the trailer put asses in seats, their work was done, and they were henceforth under no obligation to actually entertain the audience. About an hour in, the Offspring turned to me and asked, “when are they gonna sing?”, and at that point I realized that I was actually wanting them to sing too- anything, really, to break the monotony and show me that someone involved in the movie actually gave a damn. The only things keeping this from getting a “1” rating were (a) the surprisingly world-weary voiceover performance from Andy Garcia as a dishonored police dog, and (b) the sparkling presence of Piper Perabo, who (as I’ve said before) really deserves better than the career she’s had since her “next big thing” hype all the way back in 2000. Yeesh, has it really been seven years since Lost and Delirious? Rating: 2 out of 10.

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