Friday, December 18, 2015

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

I just came out from the movies after watching Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip with my nephew. He wanted to see it in place of Star Wars. Anyhow, we all remember the anthropomorphic chipmunks from our youth.  These chipmunks can talk and sing.  This movie is the fourth in a series of movies by the singing chipmunks. The movie begins with the chipmunks hosting a house party. This party is of course the idea of Alvin, who is usually the trouble maker of the trio. Everyone at the party is having a grand time until David Seville or 'Dave' comes on the scene shouting his famous "Alllviinnnnn" phrase.  He begins to kick everyone out and scolds the chipmunks who are presented as his "sons." Meanwhile, the Chipettes or the female chipmunks go away to host American Idol as its judges.

The chipmunks plead for Dave not to ground them, but Dave is in a different mood.  He is dating a woman named Samantha. We meet her in the next scene where Dave and the chipmunks are in a golf course. While there, they encounter a teen boy named Miles who bullies them. He stops Theodore's golf ball from entering the hole as a hole-in-1. Afterwards, he bullies Theodore and hangs him on a windmill on the kiddie golf course. Alvin defends his brother, but clearly the chipmunks are no match for this teen boy who is clearly massive compared to their pint size. At this moment, Dave comes with Samantha and introduces her to the chipmunks along with Miles.  Alvin and the other brothers are shocked that the teen boy who was bullying them was Samantha's son. This is when they begin to worry about Dave's relationship with this lady.

Samantha then advises Dave to let Miles and the chipmunks hangout to get to know each other.  The chipmunks clearly are reluctant, but have no choice. While hangout out, Miles continues his abuse of the chipmunks.  At one point, he even sells Theodore to a chubby kid for 20 dollars. The other chipmunks then have to use their allowance to re-purchase their brother.  Back home, the Alvin notices that Dave has a diamond engagement ring and becomes concerned.  Dave plans a trip to Miami, Florida and picks Samantha to accompany him. Alvin beings to think that Dave is going to propose to Samantha. He fears that Dave wants a new family and wants to get rid of him and his brothers.  Moreover, he begins to worry that Miles will move in and harass them even more making their lives a living hell, so to speak.

He informs the other brothers and then makes a plan to steal the ring.  During the night as Dave slept, the brothers go into Dave's room and try to steal the ring but realize that it is not there. They become stressed and do not know what to do.  To make things worse, the next day, Miles and Samantha come.  Samantha leaves Miles with the chipmunks while she and Dave go to the airport. The chipmunks are in panic mode by this time and try to make peace with Miles who keeps them locked up like pets. They tell him about what Dave and Samantha.  Miles becomes concern and says he does not want them to marry.  He tells the chipmunks of his dad who died and he never got to know him.  However, based on Miles' body language, this story may not be accurate.

The four boys (chipmunks, Miles) devise a plan to stop Dave and Samantha from marrying.  They get squirrels to pose as the chipmunks. This was to distract a nosy neighbor who Dave told to check up on the boys while he was away. The plan works. Miles and the chipmunks manage to leave the house and head to the airport as the neighbor looks through the window and see the squirrels dresses at the chipmunks sleeping.  They are sleeping because Miles drugs them with cough syrup. While at the airport, Miles tries to sneak the chipmunks past airport security but is stopped when a TSA agent notices Alvin's skeleton in the x-ray machine. Miles explains that Alvin is really a toy and tries to prove it by manipulating Alvin's small body with his huge hands causing Alvin pain and discomfort.  The agent is convinced, but then asks for a wand scan. This causes more anxiety since Simon is hidden in Miles' clothing. Simon becomes nervous and urinates. The urine pours out the leg of the jeans Miles is worried causing disgust to both the agent who thinks  Miles urinated and Miles who does not find being urinated on pleasant. The agent looks at Miles in dismay and then notices a brown chocolate shaped object come out the bottom of the leg of the jeans. This is of course the result of Simon defecating.  The agent has enough and lets Miles get on board.  While on board,

Alvin goes to first class to get food and is caught. The flight attendant goes after him and then a US Marshal stands up and joins in the pursuit.  Theodore did not go through security at the airport and got on board via the animal compartment. While there, he inadvertently releases the pets from their holding containers. These animals make their way to the seats of the plane causing havoc.  The plane is the diverted and we see the US Marshal with Miles and Chipmunk at his office. He warns the four that what they did was illegal while embellishing his job as a Marshal.  This Marshal is Agent Suggs. He is presented as being overly confident, clumsy and authoritarian.  While trying to be tough, he gets his tie dirty and goes to wash it.  When he returns, he finds that the boys have fled in a taxi.  He goes after them.

The chipmunks and Miles make their way to Texas from their home in California and stop at a bar. At first, the bar own refuses to let them in due to age but Alvin tells them that they can sing for his audience since a contracted group of musicians failed to show up.  The boys perform and wow the crowd.  Miles even  plays guitar.  However, outside, agent Suggs appears from a taxi.  He refuses to pay the fare showing his badge, but the driver is not having it and demands payment.  Suggs tells him that he will get it inside the bar.  When he enters, he sees the chipmunks and Miles and becomes tries to go after them but the chipmunks escape. Alvin enters the beards of a large heavy set man.  Suggs tries to get him and pushes the big man causing the man to stand up in an intimidating stance. All hell breaks lose as a bar fight takes place.  The chipmunks and Miles use this diversion to make an escape.

They enter the taxi where Suggs came out from and promise to  pay double what Suggs was going to pay.  The driver agrees and leaves.  Suggs tries to go after them, but fails. However, the taxi driver leaves the boys stranded after they fail to pay the amount they had promised.  The four spend the night outside and begin to bond. Miles then reveals that his father had left.  This departure affected him greatly. As the morning came, the four begin their journey to Miami on foot.  The chipmunks are exhausted while Miles is wondering why they are slowing down.  Simon explains that they got tired because they have shorter legs and with each stride it takes longer for them to cover the distance Miles can cover whose legs are much longer and have longer strides. Miles then invites them to climb on him so he can take them. They reach a bus station and depart for New Orleans.  When they reach there, they sing and perform on the street in order to make money.  However, Suggs manages to reach them. As he is about to arrest them, Simon and Alvin launch Theodore onto Sugg's private area causing him extreme pain. They make and escape but are caught in the festivals of New Orleans.  Suggs himself after recovering from the 'low-blow' hit is caught in the festivals and is given moonshine to drink.  He becomes drunk and forgets that he is chasing the chipmunks.  Everyone then breaks out in a dance. Dave then appears calling the neighbor who was supposed to watch the chipmunks. She tells them that the chipmunks are destroying his home.  This neighbor has not realized that these were squirrels, not the chipmunks. Anyhow, Dave is upset and once again shouts "alllvinnnn!"  

Alvin hears it somehow and asks the others, "did you hear that?"  The chipmunks once again use the diversion to escape and leave for florida.  In the meantime, Suggs is drunk and wakes up in a motel room half dressed. He has a lack of memory of what went on the night before but returns to going after the chipmunks and Miles.  The chipmunks and Miles reach Miami and try to avoid Dave because they are supposed to be home in california. Suggs then rents a funny looking yellow van and goes after them.  He reaches Miami as well and encounters the chipmunks in an elevator.  However, the chipmunks cause the elevator to get stuck as they made their escape.

Eventually, Dave sees the chipmunks and Miles and encounters them. He tells them that he will deal with them after having dinner with Samantha.  Once again, he gets a young girl to babysit them. The chipmunks are worried because they made the trip for nothing. However, Alvin announces that he took the ring from Dave without him noticing so the engagement he thought was going to happen would not happen.  He is happy that Samantha and Dave will not be together.  This upsets Miles.  The chipmunks then realize that Miles bonded with them and did not think his mom marrying Dave was not such a bad idea after all.  Alvin tries to explain, but Miles leaves upset with headphones on.  He crosses the street without realizing that a car was approaching and was about to hit him.  The chipmunks realize this and once again launch Theodore at him causing him to fall onto the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street.  However, in the process, Theodore is hit by the car and is briefly on conscious.  He wakes up after Miles and his two brothers are scared that he was killed.

Miles realizes that the chipmunks do care about him and they begin a new mission of trying to get the ring back to Dave.  They go to the restaurant where Samantha and Dave were going to have dinner despite Dave's command not to leave the hotel room. They try to discreetly return the ring, but Alvin ends up on Dave's table.  Alvin explains why he has the ring as Dave laughs and tells him that he was not going to propose to Samantha.  He explains that the ring was supposed to be for a friend named Barry who was there and about to propose to his girl friend. The whole thing was a misunderstanding on Alvin's part. He feels embarrassed, but it is too late. We see Barry trying to propose with an empty box which triggers and angry response from his girl friend who walks out embarrassed.

Everyone heads back to the hotel to pack up to go back home. However, Dave realizes that the chipmunks and Miles were put on the no flight list, so they have to find another way to travel.  Dave, Samantha, the Chipmunks and Miles are then in a concert.  The latter perform a special song for Dave in order to make up for all that happened. Before this, the Chipmunks explain to Barry and his girlfriend what happened. He re-proposes to her and she accepts.  At the end, they go home and Dave sees the mess the squirrels did and is once again angry at the chipmunks but then calms down.  He even goes to the court to adopt legally so that they will not feel that they are not wanted.

This movie was very funny and had the audience laughing constantly. Certain scenes were based on toilet humor, but nothing too disgusting or inappropriate for kids. The movie conveys a strong message of the importance of the family and how families exist in many ways in today's American culture. We see Miles go from a bully, to a big brother of sort to the chipmunks. This movie is good to start a discussion on the importance of the family, love and trust.

The Chipmunks themselves even 'favorited' my Tweet. :-)





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