REVIEW: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

4 01 2010

I know my legitimacy will be seriously tarnished by this statement, but I cannot be ashamed to say it.  The “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movies are kind of a guilty pleasure.  Dare I say it, those dastardly little rodents are actually kind of adorable.  I think it springs from repeated viewings of “The Chipmunk Adventure” on TV when I was a child.

Don’t get me wrong, you won’t catch me saying that “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” is something great, because it isn’t.  I found the sequel’s main triumph to be that it was fairly bearable for me.  My 9-year-old brother and the rest of the theater found it absolutely uproarious, so mission accomplished where it matters the most.

Props to Jason Lee for figuring out a way to minimize his role in the movie by breaking his leg and passing off custodial duties (unknowingly, I must add) of the rambunctious chipmunks to the lazy gaming loser played by Zachary Levi.  The singing sensations have more on their plate than bad guardianship.  They have to deal with (a dismally stereotyped) high school, where they are met with unfamiliarity and hostility among the guys.  Attraction and rivalry mix when they meet the Chipettes, a group of singing female chipmunks trying to take down the male trio.  The Chipettes have the aid of Ian (David Cross), the Chipmunks’ former manager who was cruel and manipulative.  Crazy antics ensue, but I must say that I was very proud of the filmmakers for only having one crotch hit!  Who knew that family comedy was possible without it?  (I do have to add that seeing Anjelah Johnson from the YouTube video “Nail Salon” seriously made my day.  Thank you, casting director.)

It’s unfortunate that the Chipmunks have come to popularity once again in the YouTube era.  If a singer releases a song nowadays, there’s a chipmunk version on YouTube within minutes.  Ranging from Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK” to, reprehensibly, the tunes of “Les Miserables,” these technical sorcerers render the official Chipmunks’ covers increasingly irrelevant.  Nevertheless, it excites the kids, and if you are taking them to see “The Squeakquel” instead of some other child-safe movie, clearly you don’t care about your own entertainment.  C- /



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