I have always enjoyed the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies, along with its formulaic gags and musical numbers. I think the little dudes are not only cute but they also have big personalities that draw in the audience to deliver an entertaining and enjoyable 90 plus minutes of fun and music. That being said, I was totally psyched to see the movie, especially since the first two left me with many fond memories.
Chipwrecked did not steer too far from the original formula, except this time, Dave finds himself in custody of six kids, now including the Chipettes in addition to Alvin, Simon and Theodore. In this sequel, the gang is set for a family vacation on board a luxury boat en route to the International Music Awards where the Chipmunks and the Chipettes are scheduled to perform. As usual, Alvin gets in trouble more times than Dave could count and his antics draw the ire of the ship’s captain, who warns Dave that if Alvin doesn’t behave, they might be asked to leave the ship. As if walking on eggshells wasn’t enough, Ian Hawke (the unscrupulous record producer/manager from the first two movies) makes an appearance. Because of his disgrace from mishandling both the Chipmunks and the Chipettes, he is now left with no choice but to work as the ship’s fun ambassador (read: the ship’s Pelican mascot). In the pursuit of one of Alvin’s harebrained schemes, the gang is accidentally swept away by a strong wind (while trying to parasail) and they get stuck on an island, while Dave and Ian try to rescue them.
Chipwrecked is basically an excuse for the Chipmunks to have an excursion as castaways in a remote island to showcase their musical blending skills and mash up productions. Although it was fun seeing Simon loosen up and do the whole jungle survivor thing with Alvin being the responsible one, the movie was fairly predictable and wasn’t as funny as the first two. There were some antics of note but the rest just felt like rehashes of earlier gags.
The upside to the movie was that the characters were really cute and would really sell for kids and kids at heart. It also had a solid moral lesson about the value of family and forgiveness as they also managed to turn Ian around after his earlier attempts to ruin the lives of both the Chipmunks and the Chipettes. Overall, it felt kind of average and seemed like a mere attempt to cash in on the franchise even more when it already raked in enough from the first two. I must admit that I’m a bit disappointed even though I wasn’t expecting much in the first place.