'Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip': Film Review

It's almost enough to make you Google "Pest Control."
12/18/2015

The 'Munks reunite for their fourth CG outing.

It may have been four long years since the last Chipmunks movie outing, but the arrival of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip makes it feel like they’ve never been gone.

No less noisy, obnoxious or just plain groan-inducing than the previous installments, this new adventure for the garish CG renderings of the amusing characters originally created by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. for a 1958 novelty record unsurprisingly tosses out more of the same.

The only key difference is, unlike those three predecessors (which collectively grossed over a billion dollars worldwide, by the way), this time around the ‘Munks will be facing off against none other than The Force — and in a bit of irony, it’s the first time a Star Wars movie is being released by a studio other than Fox.

Read more: 'Alvin and the Chipmunks 4' Will Now Brave Opening Opposite 'Star Wars: Force Awakens'

As a result, the opening weekend pickings could be decidedly slimmer for Alvin and company, drawing primarily a younger audience whose sensibilities may be a bit too tender for the Dark Side. 

The plot — not that it’s ever been a true driving force in the Chipmunks misadventures — involves Alvin (Justin Long), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Theodore (Jesse MacCartney) embarking on a road trip to Miami, where they have reason to suspect that their longtime, long-suffering guardian, Dave Seville (Jason Lee), will be proposing to girlfriend Samantha (Kimberly Williams-Paisley).

Helping them attempt to prevent the engagement is Samantha’s bratty son, Miles (Josh Green), who has the singing rodents believing that they’ll be kicked to the curb the minute Dave ties the knot.

Incoming director Walt Becker (Wild Hogs), the fourth individual to be handed the reins in as many films, takes an if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it approach to the customarily lazy franchise, although there are admittedly a couple of chuckle-worthy sight gags involving decoy squirrels in the early going.

Also new to the fold is Veep’s Tony Hale (filling David Cross’ old adversarial shoes) as a crazed TSA agent hot on their tails, as well as Kaley Cuoco, taking over from Amy Poehler as one of the voices behind The Chipettes — not that you’d be able to tell, given those sped-up vocalizations.

Read more: Kaley Cuoco Channels Luke Skywalker in 'Star Wars'-Themed Outing to Win Charity Event

Production companies: Fox 2000 Pictures, Regency Enterprises, The Bagdasarian Company

Distributor: Fox

Cast: Jason Lee, Tony Hale, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Josh Green

Director: Walt Becker

Screenwriters: Randi Mayem Singer and Adam Sztykiel

Producers: Janice Karman, Ross Bagdasarian

Executive producers: Karen Rosenfelt, Arnon Milchan, John Starke, Steve Waterman

Director of photography: Peter Lyons Collister

Production designer: Richard Holland

Costume designer: Mary Claire Hannan

Editor: Ryan Folsey

Composer: Mark Mothersbaugh

Casting directors: Sheila Jaffe, Jackie Burch

Rated PG, 92 minutes

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