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Alvin & The Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel

Alvin & The Chipmunks 2

Review by Cassam Looch

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

IT’S more of the same from the Alvin & The Chipmunks team, so if you didn’t like high-pitched furry rodents first time around you probably won’t find much to entertain you here.

If, however, you’re looking to be taken on an entirely inoffensive and unashamedly frothy ride then you could do a lot worse than this… squeakquel (hangs head in shame)!

Following a freak accident, Dave Seville is left incapacitated and the Chipmunks are forced to live with Dave’s cousin Toby and must enroll in school just like every other kid their age.

But school presents new challenges to these rock stars, such as dealing with peer pressure, school sports and, of course, girls! Toby is happy to coast through life and is always letting down the Chipmunks with his unreliability, something which Alvin himself is doing to his brothers as the once close-knit group begins to drift apart.

Adding to their troubles are the Chipettes, who are managed by Ian Hawke, the Chipmunks’ greedy former manager who wants to turn them into the next big thing. As a big school performance approaches will anybody be left to sing and win the much needed funding to keep the establishment from closing down?

Although the original film’s human star Jason Lee is quickly written out for the majority of the film, he is quickly replaced by someone who performs exactly the same role.

The authoritative father figure who can hardly hold himself together let alone anyone else is a necessary staple of the Alvin storyline (from the cartoon incarnation to the big screen) and another familiar subplot is introduced here.

The Chipettes provide an additional dynamic which, again, partly replays one of the main themes from the first film as well as working to develop the story here. David Cross plays Ian Hawke and aside from some very obvious sight gags is pretty much on the money as the creepy manager looking to push one of the singers into the limelight whilst alienating the others.

Alright enough of all that, let’s talk music. There’s a bizarre set of up to date R’n’B being performed, including something of a standout track – Single Ladies by Beyonce is delivered with surprising zest and zeal, complete with ‘raunchy’ dance routine.

It’s a weird concoction throughout on the soundtrack yet bizarrely it works. In fact, it’s the best thing in the film, as you are constantly left humming along to the annoying but infectious sounds… unlike listening to the charts these days, when you are just left annoyed!

It may feel too repetitive if you sat through the first film and have had to endure it on DVD thanks to the kids, but as a one-off this was fun and light-hearted enough to keep me interested from start to finish.

Likeable if throwaway fun for all the family…

Certificate: U
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: April 12, 2010