To think after the undeserved success of Alvin and the Chipmunks that a sequel wouldn’t be made, you would be considered a madman. The only surprise to be found is it took two years to concoct one. You’d think, however, with all that extra time, an interesting premise could have been formulated. Sadly, the extra time was squandered on things wholly unrelated to Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. What, exactly, I have no idea — I just know no effort went into this film.
Well, to be totally honest, some effort went into it. It just happens to be of the lazy, simplistic variety.
The chipmunks: Alvin (voiced by Justin Long), Theodore (voiced by Jesse McCartney) and Simon (voiced by Matthew Gray Gubler) are atop the music world — their records and concerts sellout and they’re adored by young, impressionable girls. But when Dave (Jason Lee reprising his role) gets injured, their tour gets puts on hold and the “boys” are sent off to high school to lead a normal life. Cos, you know, three-inch rodents belong in a place full of hormonal boys and girls clawing for dominance of the A-crowd. “Hilarity” ensues as the girls fall for their hairy peers and the jocks look to enact some slap-downs.
Also, still seeking revenge for his unceremonious dispatch from Jett Records, Ian Hawk (David Cross reprising his role), thinks he’s found an act to better The Chipmunks — The Chipettes. You heard right. Why only have three chipmunks in the film when you have six! This all female trio is made up of Brittany (voiced by Christina Applegate), Jeanette (voiced by Anna Faris) and Eleanor (voiced by Amy Poehler). He enrolls the “girls” in the same school and pits them against The Chipmunks for music supremacy at the school’s charity Battle of the Bands.
To call the goings-ons of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel “mindless” may be a bit too harsh, but it is definitely meant to cater to five year-old (and not one day older) kids only. Nothing is left on the table for the adults who have to take the children to the theater. David Cross, who was the highlight of the first film, is reduced to a pathetic, bumbling oaf — his corporate evility is all but gone. Frighteningly enough, even in his limited role, he is still the only laugh getter and adult life support system in the movie. Also, unnecessarily taking on a much smaller role is Jason Lee. While he tosses out an “Allllvvviiiinnn!” from his hospital bed once or twice, he is pretty much replaced by an uninspired performance by Zachary Levi as Dave’s video game obsessed cousin. I wasn’t overly impressed with Lee the first time around but I found myself begging for him to have more screen time as Levi has no screen charm whatsoever.
Some amusement — in the oddest sense of the word — may be found from listening to the litany of Beyonce songs covered by the critters. You have to really like that high-pitched singing though . . .
Since the young ones will love it and it is all about them, my suggestion to all adults out there is to arm yourself with a dose of Nyquil PM and a pillow to rest your head upon as you head out to the Cineplex. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel is good for 88 minutes of sleep.