Rewind Review – Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
2007’s Alvin and the Chipmunks was one of the more surprising films of that year. This one, however, falls miserably flat in many ways. The main reason is that the plot is overly contrived. Of course, this isn’t War and Peace, however, have a contest in which a school’s music program can be saved, altruistic intention aside, and a situation where Alvin has to be in two places at once then combine that with the Chipettes not liking them, due to lies, and it all became a bit much.
Plot aside most of the actors who appeared live didn’t do this film any favors. In this part Jason Lee is only serviceable for being thrashed and when he does get injured it is funny even if he isn’t. Lee, however, isn’t there a lot. Who is there a lot as the stay-at-home loser is Zachary Levi who is a spectacular failure at trying to be over-the-top funny. The only saving grace is Wendy Malick as the school principal who is a closet Chipmunk fan and David Cross as the devious producer. The voice talents are great and it’s a shame there is only so much they can do.
All the students at the high school also seemed terribly old. Which begs the question: It’s a kids movie so where are the kids? It’s just the Chipmunks kids can relate to. Wouldn’t a great story instead be of a kid being able to have them live with him/her? This way there is much more identification from the audiences instead of just watching them frolic about a world of adult doofuses.
It was surprising to learn through the credits that the Chipettes have their own creator, which is surprising since their personalities are analogous to their male counterparts. It would’ve been nice if the film worked to differentiate them a bit but alas no. To this film’s credit the Chipettes did catch on to the lies they are being fed quicker than expected but still a little bit too late. Yet their introduction was good and their participation in this sequel is by no means what held it back.
In a film where all the music is going to be covers need we hear jokes or lines from other movies ad nauseum? All this kind of dialogue just adds to the contrivances and detracts from what is original and decent in the film.
The song choices in this particular film were better and more appropriate for the entire family. Thankfully it was the original “You Spin Me Right Round (Like a Record)” which was chosen and not the Flo Rida cover, this song is one of the standouts. It also seemed like less singing for those who can’t stand the squeakiness but are dragged to see it.
It was also good that Alvin did get his comeuppance something that didn’t seem to happen nearly enough or as effectively on TV. While the child in this critic did enjoy several parts of this film there were ultimately too many things holding it back.