Thursday, August 19, 2010

Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

Like I have said in the past, it is very difficult for Mrs. Kano and I to watch movies any more until after my son goes to bed. Well, he is also a fan of movies and we as parents will watch these movies with him.

Sometimes, like in the case of a Shrek or Toy Story, I don't really mind watching them - because frankly I love those movies. Still, sometimes there is that stinker like The Tooth Fairy that leaves you a little less pleased.

Last year my son and I watched the first live-action Alvin & The Chipmunks and although it wasn't amazing, it certainly wasn't an abomination either. It was actually pretty sweet and had a little bit of humor.

So, last week we tossed in the sequel (or squeakquel whatever that means), Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel and unfortunately it didn't live up the original. My son liked it, so that is what matters - but the kid in me did not (as much).

A few points that killed it for me (spoilers possible):

The subtraction without truly being subtracted of Dave (Jason Lee). In the film Dave has an accident and is forced to stay in the hospital for most of the film. Lee was probably what made the first film so interesting - so forcing him into the background was a big mistake. They 'replaced' him with cousin Toby (Zachary Levi), who just didn't live up to Lee.

Bringing back Ian (David Cross) as the villain. I mean come on - two movies and you have the exact same villain to overcome in both. I am not sure if Cross had a two picture deal or what, but there could have been a better storyline than bringing his character back.

One of the main parts of the first film was when the chipmunks help Dave get back together with his former girlfriend, Claire (Cameron Richardson). But, she is completely missing with no mention of her in the entire film.

A few things I felt worked, but with everything above didn't work as well as it should have:

The introduction of The Chipettes. Obviously if you are a fan of Alvin & The Chipmunks at all then you are familiar with The Chipettes, so it was only natural that they would be introduced at some point.

Both sets of chipmunks entering high school. Again, back to the cartoon - The Chipmunks lived life like any other kid, which included going to school. So this made sense to me - and opened up a ton of possibilities (including the sibling rivalry that become apparent with Simon and Alvin).

Look, I am not going to say don't see this film, but I felt it was sort of lazy to bring back the same exact villain as the first film (especially on the sequel immediately following that first film). Also, if you are going to have Jason Lee, why put him as a background character?


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