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Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Talking dogs on a comic road trip

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A pampered, pocket-sized pooch named Chloe gets lost in Mexico and must rely on other dogs to get her home safely. Her allies on this perilous road trip are a German shepherd named Delgado, a disgraced Mexico City police dog, and Papi, a besotted working-class Chihuahua-mix, also from 90210. Raja Gosnell's live-action family film is sorta silly -- the scenes of dogs in bikinis and high heels made my head spin -- but perhaps not silly enough: The plot is rote, the message tired ("believe in yourself") and there are too many stereotypes of man and canine. (Expect letters from angry Dobermans about being portrayed as angry.) For action, BHC relies on scores of trained dogs and a good bit of CGI. (Drew Barrymore, Andy Garcia and George Lopez lend their voices to the moving doggie mouths.) Paws down, the best sequence is the secret Kingdom of the Chihuahuas, an Aztec-ish canyon lair where thousands of oft-mocked tiny lapdogs celebrate their essential Chihuahua-ness. In English, with some subtitled Spanish, and dog dubbed into human.

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