Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 (2011) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
9Feb/110

Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 (2011)

Andrew DISLIKEThe original Beverly Hills Chihuahua (BHC) was an unpleasant experience using classicist and racist notions under the guise of a friendly little kids film.  Every character reinforced so many negative stereotypes that our country has unfortunately opted to develop toward Mexicans.  This is, in part, why I'm reviewing the direct to DVD sequel that was released this month - just to see if things can get any worse.

Good news, they can't.  Bad news, it's still a horrible world in the BHC universe.

Look, I know that you're time here is short and the only reason that you're probably reading this review is to see if this is good for your kids.  So let's cut right to the point - if you have access to Netflix you have access to the first season of the TV show Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends.  There your kids will learn about Orson Welles, H.G. Wells, Grimm's Fairy Tales, and many other topics wrapped in a beautiful package fueled by excellent Cold War humor.  If you don't want to subject your kids to something so "old" go rent How To Train Your Dragon, a kids film I thoroughly loved.

Still here?  Ok, welcome to my little slice of karmic purgatory for today.

BHC2 opens with a church scene where a priest is standing before a very attractive young couple and mentions that their souls will be forever entwined in marriage.  But in a delightful (predictable) camera pan down we see that the priest was really talking to the chihuahuas of the previous film; Papi (voiced by George Lopez) and Chloe (Odette Yustman).  This confused me because the stance of the Catholic church does not involve animals having souls or going to Heaven.  But if I was getting my theological details from this film instead of, say, a church then I would begin to question the integrity of any such spiritual inquiry.

To dress a pet up in clothing once might seem cute. To do it thirteen times borders on cruelty.

Anyway they lick each other while their dog friends have hilarious lines to say such as "Always a bridesmaid never a bride".  This is funny because dogs do not talk.  I mean, I sometimes hold up my cat to a mirror and practice my Alan Shore impersonation while I have my cat respond in a Denny Crane voice but I know that it's not my cat talking.  The human characters in this film don't have the luxury of separating that line of reality.  There are so many times where the dogs speak to the humans (example, dog tells human to go fetch) and the humans respond appropriately (human fetches ball thrown by special dog constructed catapult).

The engineer for that must have been one helluva thinker because their propulsion to paw press ratio was really impressive.

ANYWAY the dogs have puppies and then their Mexican male owner finds out that his parents are losing control of their home to the bank because they can't make their payments doing lawn care and maintenance.  *cough*  While the Caucasian female owner has a family that is able to afford an extravagant wedding for dogs and has time to hunt for "plants in the rain forest that can be used to cure diseases". *cough cough*  Ack, sorry, something about all this racial coding causes my allergies to flare up.

So it's up to the Chihuahua parents to raise the $40,000 dollars needed to save the home.  Instead of, I dunno, having their owner ask his fiancée for some help.  Or the fiancée recognizing that they need help and just making a deal directly with the bank.  The puppies get involved too and try and find out how to raise money on their own.  Oh, and their old friend Pedro the Pit Bull may have an idea.  But wait a minute, let's not forget the good old German Shepard Delgado who is back to hunt down some bank thieves that may endanger the lives of his two sons that Delgado left on the doorstep of a police station.

After putting the puppies in a basket.  And covering them with a blanket.  And ringing the doorbell.

Does this dog look very pleased to be wearing a bathing cap? Compared to her "husband" who was shivering and forced to stand in mud the previous scene I suppose it's preferable.

Did I mention that there is a dog show where Chloe plays Fur Elise on a piano and is nearly disqualified because she gets the final note wrong?  I didn't because this is a stupendous event in the history of analyzing learned behaviors and creativity and they almost lose the pageant because of a single mistake.

I don't know what kind of universe this takes place in but, while it's not as scary as the first one, it's still amazingly pro-upper class (since a dog playing piano doesn't impress, apparently).  It reinforces the idea that all people deserve to be waited on hand and foot while rewarded for doing very little work.  It doubles up and says that true love falls into your lap because that's how destiny works.  It makes repeated and causal mention about how "you people" (referencing the Mexican owners and I can't believe that made it into the movie) have separate dog parks and don't belong in a dog show.  Finally, it does all this by balancing no less than five different subplots some of which disturbingly have to deal with the Chihuahuas only slightly fading sex life.

If you're a parent, please take one of my suggestions and skip out on this one.  If you're a film goer that knows Toy Story 2 was originally slated to go direct to video and might give this a chance, you need to stop deluding yourself.  If you need further clarification BHC2 was directed by Alex Zamm the auteur of Inspector Gadget 2, the fourth Dr. Dolittle sequel and Chairman of the Board.  He has improved since working with the comedic genius that is Carrot Top.  This, sadly, still isn't resulting in good work.

I now wash my hands of this horrible franchise hopefully forever and will let my kitty curl up on my lap while I watch 101 Dalmatians just to remember that Disney films didn't always soil a breed for eternity.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 (2011)
Directed by Alex Zamm.
Written by  Dannah Feinglass, Danielle Schneider, and Jeffrey Bushell.
Featuring the voices of George Lopez, Odette Yustman and many others.

Posted by Andrew

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