For a kids' movie, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel does a decent job of teaching lessons about being considerate, the problem with having an ego, and all the cliches of friendship. But on the whole, it's a failure almost too painful to sit through.
The superstar chipmunk trio Alvin, Simon and Theodore are forced to go back to high school. Then come all the typical high school dramas: the bullies, the pranks and the in-groups. The creatures' bond is put to the test when Alvin's desire for popularity distances him from his brothers.
Meanwhile, their female counterparts, The Chipettes, are being managed by the evil villain Ian Hawke (David Cross), and he wants their fame all for himself.
The CG chipmunks are beautifully made and well-animated, while the live action-CGI interaction is convincing. But even the adorable furry friends can't save the predictable plot, dumb jokes and overall cheesy performance. Even the supposedly funny references to old movies fail to amuse.
The only vaguely enjoyable element is the song and dance scenes. But the "chipmunkised" singing quickly gets annoying if you don't know the hit songs.
The franchise's wide fanbase meant the movie enjoyed a surprisingly good box office performance. If you're not already a fan, this sequel is an utterly frustrating drag, even at this festive time of forgiveness and understanding.