Movie Review

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel also known as “Alvin and the Chipmunks II,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks 2,” “Alvin en de Chipmunks 2,” “Alvin og de frække jordegern 2,” “Alvin y las Ardillas 2”

MPAA Rating: PG for some mild rude humor.

Reviewed by: Carissa Horton
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids, Family
Genre:
Animation, Comedy, Adventure, Kids, Family, Sequel
Length:
1 hr. 40 min.
Year of Release:
2009
USA Release:
December 23, 2009 (wide—3,700+ theaters)
DVD: March 30, 2010
Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
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Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

Animals in the Bible

Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rain forest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.

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]
Director: Betty Thomas
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


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I saw the original and found this one to be even less objectionable. I was concerned since I was taking a 2, 4 and 8 year old, that it be Okay for each one of them. Objectionable scenes would include a toy scooter driving on it’s own between the legs of a man who fell, who of course, cries out in pain. There is a scene where Theodore is scared and wants to sleep in the same bed with Dave’s cousin,who is caring for them at the time, and he passes gas in his sleep and Theodore is stuck under the covers. Then the Chipettes, the new singing girl chipmunks, shake their hips a little more than I’d prefer when singing. As they are chipmunks and not humans, it doesn’t carry the same suggestiveness that it would with a woman or young girl doing it. There are positives in that it deals with bullying and being reliable and overcoming selfishness. Overall, this is a good family movie. I find it interesting that it was PG and a new Disney movie out at the same time is G and that has voodoo and dark themes in it. Morally, this movie is better. Like I said, it’s better than the original too in terms of moral issues.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Andrea, age 37 (USA)
Positive—I would have to say that this “squeakquel” definitely triumphed over the first “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movie. It was great. As the reviewer above stated, this movie was definitely less objectionable than the first movie was. The Lord’s name, however, was taken in vain once by one of the main characters. Another scene involved one of the characters (I can’t remember who) saying the word s*ck. There was also two slightly objectionable scenes: Ian getting hit in an inappropriate spot by a toy motorcycle and one scene where the Chipettes and the Chipmunks are seen at the end sleeping in the same room (thankfully in bunk beds on opposite sides of the room).

Secondly, I would have to agree with the reviewer in terms of Dave’s appearance in this film. It was quite disappointing and I felt that he could’ve played a bigger part in this movie. Oh well. I will say, however, that the character Toby (played by TV’s Zachary Levi from the series Chuck) did a relatively good job concerning the character he was to portray. Having said all this, this story has a good message. Alvin, as the reviewer stated, learns to put his egotism and self-centeredness aside for the sake of his brothers and learns that it’s not all about him.

Parents, I highly recommend this film. This is a good film to take the family to. Again, I commend Hollywood at taking yet another step in the right direction!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Alexander Malsan, age 19 (USA)
Positive—I liked this movie. I also enjoyed it better than the first one.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—G.M., age 23 (USA)
Positive—I saw this on my birthday. It was very great. I do think they should of left out when the guy blew gas in bed and the way the producer guy was dressed. Also they could of avoided Alvin giving some of the high school boys wedges. I laughed at this movie, but I think my husband laughed more. I recommend anyone, even Christians to see this movie. There is no sex, no cussing in this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Julie D., age 38 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—I took my 4 year old to see this movie today. I was a bit apprehensive about it, because I hadn’t seen many Christian reviews yet, but we went anyway. He absolutely LOVED it. It was perfect for his age group. I don’t think anyone between 13 and 21 would enjoy it, though. The only people in the audience were eager young children and their reluctant parents.

The only crudeness I saw was already mentioned in the main review by Carissa Horton above.
***SPOILER*** The only scary (to a kid) moment in the movie was when one of the chipmunks accidentally wandered into the “birds of prey” cage at the zoo. Of course, adults expect him to escape in the nick of time, but my little one covered his eyes and screamed momentarily. It’s part of the theme for that character, though, and he goes on to show his bravery later. ***SPOILER ENDS***

I say “neutral” because it’s the type of movie rowdy little boys would love (passing gas, heads in toilet … things little boys do to each other), but not the type a young lady in the making would gain a lot from (other than the Chipettes sticking together and showing sisterly love). In a word, the movie was “cute”. Not a blockbuster, not a Christ-centered film, but definitely NOT an offensive, adults-only type cartoon marketed to children (as many are these days)! If I were given the opportunity to change just one thing about the movie, it would be the performance attire and dance of the girl chipmunks. Their dresses are made to look like all the seductive tween clothes out there, and they “shake what your momma gave you” (as the movie calls it) way too much.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Chrystal, age 33 (USA)
Negative
Negative—…I found the character Ian to be very offensive considering how he was dressed. The first time we see him, he is wearing only a robe that is continually flaring open. He doesn’t put anything more on even though he is around the young girl chipmunks. And in the last scene, he comes on stage wearing a strapless gold dress. It all seemed way perverted to my family. Also, the jokes and antics in most of this movie are not funny and will insult your intelligence. I believe it is just another way of dumbing our children. With the increased cost of movies, I wish we had spent our money elsewhere.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Wendy Cockrill, age 36 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—First I will admit I enjoyed the prequel, better. But the “Squeakuel” had its funny moments, too. The Chippettes were a nice addition. I think most families will enjoy the movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Emily, age 11 (USA)
Positive—This was a good movie!!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Joseph, age 12 (USA)
Positive—This movie was so funny; I loved it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Ethan, age 11 (USA)
Negative—The squeakeal was an unfunny mess. The story was a little too predictable, and there wasn’t one funny part in the whole movie! Even though I’m not a big fan of the first one, the first was better. This movie is basically a rental. Go see “The Princess and the Frog” or “Fantastic Mr. Fox” if you want to see an actual good family movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Langston, age 12 (USA)
Positive—I personally enjoyed this film so much that I saw it twice, once with my mom, once with my friends. The animation of the chipmunks and chipettes was very well done and I found few objectionable things in it. Lots of people thought the thing with Toby farting right at Theodore was offensive, but come on! Little kids think farting jokes are funny! Even some teenagers, including me, will laugh at that part! I was relieved to hear my mom actually laugh out loud at some parts because no one in my family really likes the chipmunks as much as I do and she was the only one who would take me, so I’m glad she enjoyed it. I think it’s a movie for all ages and you should definitely take your kids to see it! I love Simon!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kellie, age 14 (USA)
Positive—I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It was cheesy but I loved it and often laughed at loud—much to the annoyance of some of my friends! I couldn’t find anything that would be objectionable to Christians and I would recommend it to anyone—if you don’t mind a cheesy, harmless, fun movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Abigail, age 15 (UK)
Positive—I thought this movie was not going to be worth viewing, but I went anyway… with my friends and saw it. In my opinion, I thought it was cute and entertaining for kids and MAYBE some teens who won’t mind seeing a movie with talking chipmunks. I liked the fact that the chipettes always stuck together and treated each other like the sisters they are. Alvin and Simon, on the other hand, fought all the time, and Alvin was acting pretty selfish, hogging the spotlight, instead of sharing it. This movie has its ups and downs, but mostly ups! If you watched the first movie and liked it, I am sure you won’t be disappointed in this 'squeakuel!'.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—amy67, age 14 (USA)
Neutral—I saw this movie not to long ago and thought it was not very good, but OK. I did not like the way the makers presented Ian or the Chippettes. I did not like the attitude between Alvin and the chipmunks and the football players. Nor did I like the extreme interest in the girls from Alvin and the chipmunks and the football players; personally I found it sort of sexist. On the other hand, there were some parts that were not so bad, i.e, the “talent competition.” There was also some good moral to it. I did not personally find it as the best movie or the worst, and I would not recommend it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Mackenzie, age 11 (USA)
Movie Critics
…a frenetic but undeniably funny follow-up that offers twice the number of singing-and-dancing rodents in another seamless blend of CGI and live-action elements. The new pic comes off as more specifically kid-centric than its predecessor, but should nonetheless have similarly nostalgic appeal for baby boomers who remember the title characters as '50s novelty-record phenomena, '60s primetime cartoon stars and '80s Saturday morning TV attractions.…
—Joe Leydon, Variety
…slick animation, plenty of slapstick and surprisingly little music. It’s silly but harmless, and it won’t disappoint youngsters…
—Jim Lane, News Review
…Ross Bagdasarian’s enduring characters are a bit tougher to endure in this charmless sequel.…
—Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter
…offers exactly two big laughs for its kiddo target audience—one involves passing gas, the other a shot to the crotch.…
—Glenn Whipp, Associated Press
…I do wish Squeakquel’s creators hadn’t equipped their newest feminine cast members with such coquettish moves. I get very tired of the entertainment industry handing young viewers sexualized bits—well beyond their years—to take home and imitate.…
—Bob Hoose, PluggedIn
…never tries too hard to be cool. …
—Sukhdev Sandhu, The Daily Telegraph
…lacks the surprises of the first movie. Young viewers will enjoy the movie, but teenagers and adults may get a little bored at times.…
—Movieguide