1 out of 5 stars

Julie Rowe

“Alvin and the Chipmunks”

20th Century Fox

At Showcase and Quality 16

This has to be making someone at Fox really happy. A release before Christmas, and a gross of almost $200 million, means millions of kids and their dragged-along parents have been seeing “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and loving it.

So what about the rest of us?

“Alvin and the Chipmunks” is just terrible. Time may tell, but this is a disaster of poor taste, not dissimilar to “The Flintstones,” “Casper,” “Valley of the Dolls” or any other studio hit that has had a rough run after its success.

We all know the cartoon. Unsuccessful dweeb musician Dave Seville (Jason Lee, “Almost Famous”) finds himself living with three singing chipmunks who soon become a huge success with the public. You know, like Miley Cyrus. This being a “family” film, many scatological and slapstick jokes ensue.

The only saving grace of the film is David Cross’s (“I’m Not There”) performance as the Chipmunks’ manager Ian. The acerbic, sardonic comedian recently shot back at critics who had attacked him for acting in similar kiddy fare. But fear not. He’s the same loveable asshole he’s always been. Smug, condescending and surprisingly funny, Cross takes some crappy lemons and makes the best lemonade he can. Or, in this case, chipmunk shit.

Blake Goble

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