Mr. Movie

'Beverly Hills Chihuahua' poops out

My grandmother had a string of Chihuahuas. When one died, she got another.

She named all of them Squeaky. My mother inherited the last Squeaky. It terrorized my guard-dog-trained Doberman. I called her Doberwoman.

Is my family history boring? Not as boring as Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Not even close. Combining trained dogs with animtronics and animation, the film follows the exploits of Chloe, a pampered Chihuahua who is kidnapped in Mexico.

She hooks up with a Delgado, a tough German Shepard who tries to get her home while bad guy dog fighters and the baddest Doberman of them all try to find her.

Two storylines unfold from there. The dog tale wags toward the typical Disney slapstick comedy. Chloe and Delgado dodge their would-be captors by hopping trains and braving the barren desert. Comedy relief--if you can call it that--is brought to you courtesy of a rotten rat and an ignoble Iguana who steal Chloe’s diamond necklace.

The story of the three humans trying to find the lost pooch is close to brain death.

Drew Barrymore--who isn’t a much better actress doing vocal work than she is in human form--teams with Andy Garcia, George Lopez and Cheech Marin to voice the dogs. The human parts are handled by Piper Perabo, Jamie Lee Curtis and a bunch of unknown actors.

Your children will love the movie. And you’ll find it better than the cheapie Asian animated crap and terrible teeny bop sitcoms found on the boob tube, but not by much.

The most interesting scene in Beverly Hills Chihuahua is at the end when the brain trust at Disney, remembering the Dalmatian disaster of a few years ago, when people bought the difficult breed by the thousands and then abandoned them. Disney warns people to be careful when picking a dog and that all dogs deserve a good home.

If only they were that concerned about their movie.

Mr. Movie rating: 1 star

Kids movie rating: 4 stars

Rated PG for some mature themes. It opens today at the Columbia Mall 8 and at the Fairchild 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself