x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

Alvin lets success go to his head and it's all downhill from there unless, of course, you're part of the demographic the film is targetting.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Sqeakquel
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Sqeakquel


It's not easy being a teenage idol - and that goes double if you're a rodent. Enrolled in high school and entrusted to the hazardous care of an immature gamer (Zachary Levi), the lead singer Alvin lets the adulation go to his head. He is "adopted" by the jocks and is such a hit with the girls that he shuns rehearsals. Meanwhile the boys' arch-nemesis, their former manager Ian (David Cross), hooks up with a female copycat band, the Chipettes, and enters them in a battle of the bands against the Chipmunks. The "squeakquel" (that's the movie's best gag right there) to the 2007 pre-schooler hit seems intent on making its furball heroes as human as possible. It wouldn't take much tinkering to adapt the story into a vehicle for the Jonas Brothers or Hannah Montana - who may be equally pre-fabricated (and squeaky-clean), but at least they can look their co-stars in the eye. The digital work here is efficient - it's not like Alvin has two heads or anything - but the chipmunks' slapstick antics never really catch fire. The joys of hearing Beyoncé covered in a high-pitched squeal have to be weighed against the sheer tedium of watching mediocre actors mugging, struggling to steal a scene or two from such dedicated ham-sters. Jason Lee - who played their friend Dave in the first film - obviously learnt his lesson; hospitalised in the first scene, he phones in his performance from the relative safety of the emergency ward.