What to say about Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2? To quote a phrase heard often in my household, “No más.” No more Chihuahua movies, Disney. My delicate sensibilities cannot take it. I have no problem with movies of this sort if they are made well. Unfortunately this was not one of those.
If you saw the first movie and liked it, you’ll have no trouble picking this up. If not, you don’t need to have done so to watch this new direct-to-Blu-ray sequel. In fact, it was my opinion that Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 was better than the original, for a variety of reasons. That should tell you what I thought of the original film.
The main problem is that the sequel suffers from a lack of focus. The film introduces us to the children of Chloe and Papi, the main dogs from the first movie. These five puppies are obviously going to get in trouble, as evidenced from their first scenes when they are playing in the mud or destroying their bedroom. If the film were about the puppies and their adventures, it might have been better.
Instead, the camera focus drifts from the puppies to Papi’s insecurities about being a father and then to his owner’s family. Sam’s mother and father, who still live in a small house in a different side of town, are about to be evicted. Add on top of that Sam’s romantic issues and the reappearance of Delgado the police dog, and you have way too much story to cram into 90 minutes.
Fortunately for the writers, they did not let this bother them. None of the stories really get much attention, and there’s no consistent step by step process followed. The dogs are obviously the mechanism by which there will be a resolution to the house crisis, but the road to get there is a winding one. Whether it’s a dog show or a bank robbery, it seems all the clichés are thrown against the wall, with no logical progression.
That’s not to say that there aren’t some redeeming qualities in the movie. George Lopez returns as Papi, the main male lead, and his voice work is fantastic. He provides much of the emotion that the film otherwise lacks. Marcus Coloma as Sam is actually a big improvement over the original Sam in the first movie. The dog show scenes are no good, but the jokes of French Stewart make them bearable.
Whenever I evaluate a film, I try to look at the audience it’s made for and try to take it in that context. This is clearly a film for young kids, but it fails even in that respect. Kids are not dumb, and this film talks down to them. Worse than that, it fails to engage their brains, merely hopping from scene to scene with no real point to be made. It’s a movie that I wish was better, but I can’t recommend that you run out and pick this one up.