Matthew Gray Gubler
Like most of the children of my generation, I was a fan of The Chipmunks back in the day. Ill even admit that I owned a record or two of theirs, the most notable being Urban Chipmunk, a fun little riff in the 80s that had Alvin and his brothers going country. As an adult, however, Ive managed to avoid those squeaky-voiced entertainers except for the occasional Christmas song about hula hoopsuntil nowand while this sequel (I cant say Squeakquel and you cant make me) is no cinematic masterpiece, it will entertain the kiddie audience for whom it is intended.
We start off with Alvin, Simon, and Theodore in concert at the top of their game, singing their squeaky hits and rocking away on their tiny little instruments. Then Alvinof courseacts up, leading to the wounding of the rodents dad David Seville (Jason Lee) and their subsequent temporary relocation to the home of Daves cousin Toby (Zachary Levi). It also means they have to go to school (bullies abound, and somehow Alvin makes the football team), and eventually theres a talent contestnot to mention three new singing chipmunks who just happen to be girl Chipettes being managed by the evil Ian (David Cross). Things happen, there are some fights, people make up, songs are sung, and all is right in the end.
As a critic, films like this one are sometimes hard to review. Obviously, this is no Hurt Locker, but its also no Up or Fantastic Mr. Fox. What it is happens to be a film aimed squarely in the faces of children 11 and under, with no subtle undertones or clever humor. Its what you see is what you get moviemaking, and its meant to make a lot of money and entertain kids. Not change their lives or offer them spiritual growthentertain them. To that end, it does exactly thatkids were yukking it up in the theater, even when adults were cringing at the lameness. My biggest complaint is more of a questionwhy use such a talent-filled voice cast (Amy Poehler, Justin Long, Anna Faris, etc.) when theres no real distinction in any of the voices, and really, the performances couldve come from me or the guy next door and no one would know the difference? As a film, though, its a silly little piece of fluffy fur that wasnt meant for us and thats ok. Sometimes kids need distractions, too, and while its little more than an excuse to sell merchandise, its harmless.
It's Got: David Cross, goofy kid humor, pretty decent CGI
It Needs: More distinct voices, an audience full of kids, not to have another installment
Alternatives:Alvin and the Chipmunks, G-Force, The Brady Bunch Movie
Definitely no Oscar contender — and not really even a great kids movie — it’s still worth it if you can see a cheap show because your kids will laugh, even if you’re bored silly.