Sunday, December 27, 2009

Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (**)

Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. 88 mins. PG. Directed by Betty Thomas. Written by Jon Vitti & Jonathan Aibel. Starring Justin Long, Zachary Levi, David Cross, and the voices of Justin Long, Amy Poehler, Christina Applegate, and Anna Faris.

There's really not much you can say about Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. The first Alvin was an unfunny, chaotic nuisance of a movie, but kids loved it (to the tune of $217 million), so a sequel was inevitable. Part 2 is slightly better, if only for its introduction of the Chipettes. The plot is basically recycled from the first film, with the Chipmunks going to high school, and the Chipettes going the famous singing chipmunk route. There are multiple singing competitions along the way, none of which seem to have any impact on anything. There are a handful of pop culture gags for adults strewn throughout the movie, but those feel more obligatory than clever. Jason Lee (playing Dave Seville) wisely spends most of the movie laid up in a hospital bed, while cousin Toby Seville (Chuck's Zachary Levi) takes care of the chipmunks. What still amazes me about these Chipmunk movies is the fact that good money was spent on hiring well-known comedic actors such as Justin Long, Amy Poehler, Christina Applegate, and Anna Faris to voice the chipmunks. Why?! Once the voices are turned up that high, the actor is unrecognizable. What a waste of money. Clearly though, Fox isn't worried. Kids are still going to love this Squeakquel, and a third movie is all but certain. You've been warned.

- John


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