Friday, December 25, 2009

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

So Cute!

I will not deny that I've grown up with the Alvin and the Chipmunks cartoon series on television, and had unabashedly enjoyed their very first cinematic outing way back in the year 2007, formulaic the storyline may be like an extended cartoon episode. That it had raked in enough cash meant a sequel wouldn't be far away, and the logical progression in terms of the introduction of new characters, translated to the ushering of The Chipettes, voiced by Christina Applegate, Amy Poehler and Anna Faris as Brittany, Eleanor and Jeanette respectively.

But the sequel suffered from having a rather half baked plot in trying to pit one set of chipmunks over the other, and complicated itself by trying to do too much in too little, having to write off their human guardian Dave (Jason Lee) to replace him with nephew Toby (Zachary Levi) who's about as plain as a piece of cardboard, and the very tired Alvin versus his brothers in an all for one and one for none subplot involving his association with the football jocks in search for a higher popularity.

Even the villain too was a repeat in having Ian (David Cross) make a comeback, in trying to exploit the Chipettes for his comeback after falling from grace in the first film, without the clunky corporate executive being corrupted by greed and money stemming from good intentions. Here he's manipulative in a child-like fashion through and through, and you can see his grand plot from a mile away when he tries to isolate one of the Chipettes whom he thinks will be a better solo artist at the expense of the rest.

So it's a revisit of the same old themes of family togetherness over friends, or over careers, which got repeated twice for the different triplets. And it's either me, or somehow having the chipmunks all sounding alike (despite having a different voice cast) got to me this time round. The redeeming grace of having them sing and dance to contemporary pop tunes also took a nose dive here, having the number of performances got reduced, and of course the novelty of having such songs “munked” have lost their lustre.

However, having it released during this festive period would mean that all will get forgiven, and children will once again be thrilled by the all singing, all dancing chipmunks welcoming the festive cheer. There's a coda at the end of the film as well, so don't just head out the cinema once the credits start to roll.

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