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Movie Review

Simon, Theodore and Alvin. These mischievous chipmunk brothers always seem to be getting themselves into some kind of hot water. This time around, though, it's somebody else who's turning up the heat.

It all starts when their "dad," Dave, reveals that he's feeling some heart palpitations over his new doctor girlfriend, Samantha. And it's soon obvious that his malady is a bit more serious than just a few cardiac flutters. You see, the chipmunks have found an engagement ring hidden away in his bags!

Now, normally, that wouldn't be such a bad thing. I mean, the "boys" have always wanted a mom. The problem is that this potential addition to their family already has a son of her own. And that nightmare of a teen, named Miles, has something of a propensity to torment small rodents.

Gulp.

Suspecting that a proposal might happen on a trip Dave and Samantha are taking to Miami, the chipmunks reason that there's only one thing to do: They must convince the evil Miles to join them on a road trip and throw a few nuts into Dave's matrimonial plans.

Positive Elements

A parentally abandoned teen derides the value of having a father, but the film ultimately makes it plain that dads are of great importance. In fact, Dave moves to legally adopt his chipmunk charges to prove his devotion to them and their well-being. In that light, there are several other statements made that laud any adopted or married-into family, no matter how mismatched it may seem. We're also told that with the right effort and understanding, even the most conflicted relationships have a chance of finding common ground and, perhaps, even developing a close bond.

Spiritual Content

There are general spiritual implications to the colorful costumes in a Mardi Gras parade.

Sexual Content

Women wear bikinis at a Miami beach and pool. And at a hotel pool setting, Alvin gazes at the scantily clad beauties and drools out, "If this is grounded … ground me for life!" At other parties, young women dance around in short skirts and short shorts, wearing cleavage- and midriff-baring tops. Samantha wears a low-cut dress. Alvin performs some hip thrusts while singing, and Theo warbles through a tune about "big butts."

Violent Content

In the midst of any number of slapstick scenes, lots of different people are thumped or bonked with Three Stooges-like glee. The chipmunks and an air marshal (who's chasing them) tend to get the worst of it. The chipmunks, for instance, are tormented repeatedly by bully teen Miles. He tosses the rodents around, dips one headfirst into a cotton candy machine, and pins another to a spinning windmill. He bends and twists Alvin around, bopping his head on a counter top to "prove" that he's a stuffed toy.

The air marshal, on the other hand, receives some much more realistic thumping as he's punched and battered in a brawling bar fight, bashes face-first into a road sign and gets hit in the crotch by a hurtling chipmunk.

Oh, and a group of wild squirrels rip a living room and kitchen to shreds with their teeth and claws.

Crude or Profane Language

Uses of "holy Christmas" and "crap." There are several exclamations of "oh my god" and "oh my gosh."

Drug and Alcohol Content

Alvin knocks out a bunch of squirrels by feeding them nuts dipped in cough syrup. In several party settings, people are drinking from plastic Solo cups or slugging back bottled beer and glasses of wine. Dave and Samantha drink margaritas. During a raucous Mardi Gras celebration the air marshal gets falling-down drunk and eventually passes out. He wakes the next morning with a hangover and two tattoos he picked up during the night.

Other Negative Elements

A number of belch-fart-poop-and-pee potty jokes pepper this pic, including one scene in which a hidden Theodore urinates and drops a, uh, chipmunk pellet while quivering with fear. The chipmunks break the rules repeatedly; they steal, and they run away from authority figures. While sonically distorted beyond all human comprehension, we still get approving nods to songs such as "Uptown Funk."

Conclusion

What can you say about yet another Chipmunk movie? Surely nothing all that surprising. Or even enlightening. Although it is admittedly a bit astonishing that this talking and trilling trio of fur balls—given life over a half century ago by a silly novelty song—are still tenaciously clinging to their knothole in the pop-culture tree.

Other than that outrageous absurdity, there's not a lot here that'll shake your branch in any way it wasn't already rattled by the first three movies. The completely predictable pic nibbles on wispy lessons about friendship and familial loyalty. And there's even a quick-but-nice nod here to adoption. But mostly Road Chip just wants to update the Chippies' song list to include squeaky versions of Top 40 hits that are toe-tappable, if lyrically indecipherable. And there's a whole lot more of the same juvenile and silly nonsense that everyone's come to expect from these chipmunk brothers as they dole out poop gags and fur-covered pratfalls that generally set off a cascade of chaos and catastrophe.

Is it cute? Sometimes, sure. Raucous? Definitely. A nutty treat? Well … let's not go too far.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults

Credits

Rating

PG

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Jason Lee as Dave; Josh Green as Miles; Kimberly Williams-Paisley as Samantha; voice of Justin Long as Alvin; voice of Matthew Gray Gubler as Simon; voice of Jesse McCartney as Theodore

Director

Walt Becker ( )

Distributor

20th Century Fox

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

December 18, 2015

On Video

March 15, 2016

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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