Date Reviewed:
Warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /websites/LinuxPackage02/le/ig/hv/leighville.co.uk/public_html/films/viewfilm.php on line 52

Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /websites/LinuxPackage02/le/ig/hv/leighville.co.uk/public_html/films/viewfilm.php on line 52
15th January 2010

Summary:

It's back to school for furry chipmunk pop sensations Alvin, Simon and Theodore.

In this follow-up to 2007 hit family comedy Alvin And The Chipmunks, lovable singing rodents Alvin, Simon and Theodore find themselves with a new human minder, Toby Seville (Zachary Levi) and heading back to the classroom like regular human kids. There they must save the school's music program by winning the $25,000 top prize in a battle of the bands. But first they have to tackle a host of new challenges such as peer pressure, school sports and girls - namely Brittany, Eleanor and Jeanette, aka rival musical trio 'The Chipettes'. Sneaky manager Ian Hawke is determined to wreak revenge on his former clients The Chipmunks by making the girls the Next Big Thing. Can the two groups overcome their personal and musical differences? Find out in this lively and colourful comedy with its skillful blend of live action and animation.

Review:

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.