Reviewed by: Carissa Horton
Animals in the Bible
|Featuring:||Justin Long (Alvin voice), Zachary Levi (Toby), David Cross (Ian), Jason Lee (Dave), Matthew Gray Gubler (Simon voice), Jesse McCartney (Theodore voice), Amy Poehler (Eleanor voice), Anna Faris (Jeanette voice), Christina Applegate (Brittany voice), Wendie Malick (Dr. Rubin), Anjelah N. Johnson (Julie (as Anjelah Johnson), Kathryn Joosten (Aunt Jackie), Kevin G. Schmidt (Ryan), Chris Warren Jr. (Xander), Bridgit Mendler (Becca), Aimee Carrero (Emily), Alexandra Shipp (Valentina), Gregg Binkley (Emcee), Charice Pempengco (Herself), Bernard White (Doctor), [more]|
|Producer:||Bagdasarian Productions, Regency Enterprises, Ross Bagdasarian Jr., Michele Imperato, Janice Karman, Arnon Milchan, Karen Rosenfelt, Steve Waterman|
|Distributor:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation|
The Chipmunks are back! While on tour in France, Alvin loves living the life of a rock star. He can’t resist playing to the crowd. Unfortunately, his antics lead to some serious destruction, resulting in Dave (Jason Lee) being hospitalized and wrapped in bandages from head to foot. With Dave out of commission for at least a few months, he determines to send Alvin, Simon, and Theodore back to the states. They no sooner set foot back on American soil before something else goes wrong. Dave’s Aunt Jackie (Kathryn Joosten) is now unable to care for the chipmunks, so they’re left in the charge of her deadbeat son, Toby (Zachary Levi). Now, not only are Alvin, Simon, and Theodore without Dave, they also have to brave their first year at high school.
Meanwhile, in another part of town, Ian (David Cross), the villainous agent from the first film, steps back into the limelight. Fired from his job and forced into almost literal exile, Ian skulks, waiting for a chance to wreak his revenge on the Chipmunks. That chance arrives in the shape of three adorable female chipmunks. Brittany, Jeanette, and Eleanor are known as the Chipettes and are equally as talented as their male counterparts. These sweet girls are clueless about Ian’s true character and are rapidly heading for trouble. Only by working together can the Chipmunks and the Chipettes save the day.
Everyone is aware that these movies are overacted. “The Squeakquel” is just as bad as the first movie in the human acting department, perhaps worse because Dave is given almost no screen time. Toby is not a substitute for Dave because Toby is a human wrecking ball. He’s unfortunately lazy and cowardly, living off the good intentions of his mother. Not a good influence for the chipmunks. Which, I suppose, could make Dave’s positive attitude and care shine even stronger, if he were given more than 10 minutes of screen time. It was a sad mistake. However, adding the Chipettes was brilliant! They’re the perfect feminine counterpart to the boys, providing some much needed charisma. Yes, romantic sparks fly, but it is cute instead of concerning. Be aware that the girls arrive in the same was as the boys in the first movie. They’re not wearing a thing. Since these are chipmunks, I wasn’t really offended.
Questionable content was kept considerably lower than the first film. The song choices are not as much of a concern for parents, and crude jokes are very limited. At one point Theodore is trapped under the covers of Toby’s bed while Toby’s sleeping. Well, you can imagine what happens and Theodore cannot easily escape. He finally scrambles out just in time, screaming “Dutch Oven!” Overdone and unnecessary. Alvin, Simon, and Theodore suffer some abuse in high school. Simon is dunked in the toilet. Theodore is picked on because of his rotund size. And Alvin? Well, Alvin pulls some serious wedgies on a couple of high school bullies. There’s some violence and injury. You can’t have a chipmunk movie without them either accidentally or deliberately hurting someone. Even Ian receives the business end of a miniature motorcycle running between his legs while he’s laying helpless on the ground. There’s also some threats made by Ian of bodily harm to the Chipettes. That aspect was rather frightening since the audience is already aware of his evil nature.
Positive messages abound in “…The Squeakquel.” Alvin doesn’t always make the right choices. In fact, he can be downright selfish. In this case, that selfish nature of his actually turns Simon and Theodore against him. Alvin makes choices without considering the consequences nor the feelings of his brothers. Once he realizes those mistakes, Alvin’s awareness of the importance of family relationships really grows. Alvin makes some mature leaps in this movie. I appreciated those leaps because Alvin has always been my least favorite chipmunk and it was nice to see him grow emotionally.
Once you realize the acting is sub par at best, you can attend without preconceptions. The CGI chipmunks are even better than the first movie, and they have great chemistry with one another. This is a chipmunk movie after all, so they’re the ones who really matter. Kids will undoubtedly love this movie, but don’t subject your teenagers to it, or they may never forgive you. I, for one, found it hilarious, and less questionable than the first film. A safe choice for most Christian families.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: Minor