(out of 5)
Those rambunctious chipmunks have made their way to the big screen for the first time since their animated adventure in 1987. This time it’s live-action, with three computer-generated creatures (actual chipmunk size, not pre-teens with furry faces) invading the peaceful but unhappy life of struggling musician Dave (Jason Lee) and turning his luck around by becoming musical superstars. Trouble is afoot as music producer David Cross wants to work the mayhem-addicted cuties into the ground while Dave just wants them to enjoy being kids. Lame brained and breezy, this fun comedy captures much of the spirit of the original television show (which, at one point in my life, I couldn’t be drawn away from at gunpoint) and features some hilarious sight gags. The plot is pointless crap, including an unnecessary romance, but it does take the original show’s setup through to its logical conclusion: if they really were famous singing stars, it would only be a matter of time before someone came along to take complete advantage of them. Just turn off your brain and have fun.
Directed by Tim Hill
Cinematography by Peter Lyons Collister
Music by Christopher Lennertz
Production Design by Richard Holland
Costume Design by Alexandra Welker
Film Editing by Peter E. Berger