Above, please see the only decent sight gag in “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip.” Alvin, Simon and Theodore pose as exotic sports car hood ornaments to hide from a Federal air marshal chasing them between LA and Miami.
Whatever slim charms were in the first film of this singing/chatting/pranks-pulling chipmunks revival have utterly been wrung out of it, at this stage. The comic pickings are slim, even by the reduced standards of movies aimed at the smallest of the small fry. There’s barely a laugh in this thing.
Jason Lee tries not to look humiliated to be taking money for playing “Dave,” the dad to the three orphaned critters. Dave’s producing a pop starlet’s new record. She’s played by the leggy Bella Thorne, and the record release party is in Miami. Dave can go. He takes his new girlfriend (Kimberly Williams-Paisley, years removed from “Father of the Bride”).
The chipmunks, and the girlfriend’s bully boy son (Josh Green) try to crash that party, but create mayhem on the plane and are forced to make their way to Miami by other means. Sounds like trouble.
“If by trouble, you mean irresistible, GUILTY as charged!”
A stop at a line-dancing Texas honky-tonk, a sing-along in New Orleans, chased by this vengeful Fed (Tony Hale, given nothing funny to do) every step of the way.
They sing “I like big BUTTS and a I cannot lie,” and “Iko Iko” and a few other tunes.
Alvin swaps insults with kinky filmmaker John Waters on a plane.
“Don’t judge ME! I saw ‘Pink Flamingos!'”
A fart joke, a rodent pellet gag, all harmless enough.
Why even bother reviewing these? Well, the first one had a few adorable moments and worked well enough for its tiny tots audience. Movies like this serve a function, raising a new generation of young filmgoers as they transition from cartoons to live action. I’m just not sure setting the bar this low is doing them, or their suffering parents, any favors.
MPAA Rating:PG for some mild rude humor
Cast: Jason Lee, Bella Thorne, Josh Green, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Tony Hale and the chipmunked voices of Justin Long, Jesse McCarthy, Kaley Cuoco, Anna Faris, Christina Applegate
Credits: Directed by Walt Becker, script by Randi Mayem, Adam Sztykiel. A 20th Century Fox release.
Running time: 1:26