After a concert mishap lands Dave in the hospital, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore end up in the care of Dave's twenty-something cousin Toby. The Chipmunks put aside their stardom to return to school to win an annual "Battle of the Bands" competition to save the school's music program, but they meet their match with the Chipettes: Brittany, Jeanette, and Eleanor, who work for the Chipmunks' ex-manager, Ian Hawke. The Chipmunks and the Chipettes square off; romantic sparks and crazy mishaps ensue.
Predictable, terribly acted and lacking in substance.
OK, so I was one of those people who actually enjoyed the first Alvin. I know it was predictable, terribly acted and lacking in substance, but I liked it nonetheless. The Squeakquel not so much. There's no effort to even mask the predictability in this one, the filmmakers just concede to the fact there are no surprises. The acting is noticeably worse, Jason Lee essentially being replaced by the far less appealing Zachary Levi is the main contributor to this problem. And worst of all the shallowness of the plot can't be redeemed by numerous hit songs getting 'munked', like achieved by its predecessor.
The major upside to the movie is still the song and dance numbers, which are turned up to eleven thanks to the arrival of The Chipettes. Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor (voiced by Applegate, Faris and Poehler respectively) provide two things: firstly, a reason for more girls to watch, secondly, and most importantly, the chance for the film to include female tunes. Its these 'cute girl' routines which provide the bulk of the enjoyment as Alvin, Simon and Theodore's music acts become tired very fast.
Of particular annoyance to me is something that has become increasingly popular in Hollywood: big names being vocally unrecognisable. It occurred in the first Alvin and then again most recently in Planet 51. Why oh why would you use well-known actors if you can't tell it's them? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of having them at all? Any old person can have their voice synthesised digitally to sound like a chipmunk, is it purely so their names can be included on the poster and in the trailer? Well, it is a real shame, because if I lured in talent like Long, Poehler and Faris I would make more out of it than name-dropping.
2 out of 5 (1 - Rubbish, 2 - Ordinary, 3 - Good, 4 - Excellent, 5 - Classic)
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