Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked Mike Mitchell

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked Mike Mitchell
The best thing about Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (the third entry in the exceedingly perverse, culturally destitute franchise) is that it actually abides by its theme of maturation and responsibility, toning down the poo jokes and adult references just as Alvin learns to accept responsibility.

His life lesson comes not only from the holiday season appeal of a G-rating, but from a Gilligan's Island-like mishap that happens when Dave (Jason Lee), the Chipmunks and the Chipettes wind up on a deserted island after a kite mishap carries the singing critters off a cruise ship. Once there, Simon suffers a toxic insect bite (something French), leaving Alvin to lead the group. Similarly, Jeanette starts to discover there's more to life than being pretty after a random kidnapping occurs and a volcano erupts.

Now, if this story were to exist simply as is, with the Chipmunks and Chipettes learning some handy life lessons when left to their own devices, Chipwrecked could easily be a harmless bout of cinematic fun, not unlike the far superior 1987 film, The Chipmunk Adventure. Unfortunately every single plot point is announced with an oppressive, shrill variation on an exceptionally broad rendition of a major pop hit. This time out, we're subjected to Pink, Lady Gaga, Destiny's Child and even the Go-Go's.

And with the sped-up voices wasting the talents of solid comedy actors Amy Poehler, Christina Applegate and Anna Faris, we're left only with these painfully familiar songs blaring incessantly while obtrusively animated chipmunks bounce around excitedly.

Particularly assimilative children will delight in the sheer chaos and colourful mayhem, noting again that the modern age prioritizes karaoke and image performance above all other skill sets. But everyone else should avoid this and check out Arthur Christmas instead. (Fox)