Review: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip
PLOT: The singing chipmunks are back in a brand new adventure. This time, they are heading to Miami and causing trouble for everybody in their path. There is a good chance that they learn a good lesson and make a couple of fart jokes as well.
REVIEW: Oh boy! It’s that time again. If you are looking for a rocking and rolling fun time at the movies, you probably are already planning on another upcoming release that takes place in a galaxy far, far away. The question is, how many of you will be taking their kids to the musical extravaganza ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP? Yes, they are back. Alvin (Justin Long), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Theodore (Jesse McCartney) have returned and they are causing a whole lot of trouble for their surrogate father Dave (at least Jason Lee is working). And when I say trouble, I mean random stupid decisions that ultimately lead to a choreographed dance sequence with a ton of extras. This mix of live action with animation is exactly what you would expect, including fart jokes, forced sentimentality and singing chipmunks shaking their groove things.
When Dave decides to take a trip with his new girlfriend Shira (Kimberly Williams-Pailey), he leaves his three furry friends at the mercy of her bullying son Miles (Josh Green). Not wanting to start a brand new family because good old Miles has daddy issues, they concoct a scheme to stop Dave from proposing marriage. So the four of them are off to set things straight in Miami. This is a big trip - or if we must, a big ROAD CHIP - and the foursome must learn to get along. All the while they make an enemy of a one time Chipmunks fan who also happens to be a vindictive air marshall (Tony Hale). Will these furry friends finally discover the true meaning of family? Will anybody in the audience care at all? That is why we have a bunch of insufferable dance numbers, to make you forget about the stupid plot. At least these sequences are well choreographed with a ton of hot dancers. Seriously, these Chipmunks sure attract some fine looking ladies.
In this continued franchise that somehow makes money, it is hard to really blame the actors or anybody else for that matter. If you are writing a script for the freaking Chipmunks, it probably doesn’t require much effort. This script is beyond dumb. The story is just painfully predictable and the sentiment is extremely irritating. Oh look Dave is about to scream “Alvin” again! And the laughs are aplenty. Well, actually they are not. There is very little that is even mildly amusing. The Chipmunks are infuriatingly dim, especially Alvin, and Miles starts off as a major dick. And don’t get me started on the stupidity of US Air Marshall Benson and his twisted obsession with Alvin, Simon and Theodore. Damn this movie. Damn it all to hell.
Now the question is, will children appreciate it? Well after the first film was a hit, these sequels continue to do well. So yeah, they will probably enjoy it. I guess it succeeds on that level. You have a bunch of dumb pop songs - although I did appreciate hearing the non-Chipmunk version of “Geronimo” by the band Sheppard - and big splashy dance numbers. And of course you have a couple of poop and fart jokes because everybody loves those. The humor is incredibly juvenile, but haven’t we learned that movies for kids don’t have to be this dumb? Perhaps you could call this PAUL BLART for toddlers. And if you are a parent and can deal with an hour and a half of this, you would clearly do anything for your children and I salute you.
Is there anything positive to say about THE ROAD CHIP? Well, both Jesica Ahlberg and Kimberly Williams-Paisley are adorably cute. And that thing about this giving a bunch of people jobs… that’s good. Other than that, this is a boring flick that smacks you in the face with its big Chipmunk heart. The music is barely tolerable, especially the high-pitched squeaking of the main characters singing their little hearts out. Director Walt Becker has made exactly the movie that you’d expect from a Chipmunks flick. It is a loud and bloated live action mixed with animation that will appeal to the less discriminating young ones. I guess in that case it does exactly what it was supposed to, but it is impossible to even mildly recommend something like this. It is exactly what came before and just as ridiculously obnoxious. Will it make money? You know, when the other flick is all sold out and parents want to see a movie, THE ROAD CHIP more than likely will reap the benefits. In other words, don’t expect this to be their farewell tour.