Adam Markovitz
December 21, 2011 AT 05:00 AM EST

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

Current Status
In Season
87 minutes
Wide Release Date
Jason Lee, Christina Applegate, Anna Faris, Justin Long, Amy Poehler
Mike Mitchell
Fox 2000 Pictures

We gave it a C-

Good news: The shrill CG rodents, who last infested theaters in 2009’s Squeakquel, are stranded on a jungle island with little hope of survival. Bad news: They’ve brought us along. In their third big-screen adventure, the gang—which now includes three harmonizing chipmunks, three dance-happy Chipettes, and their harried father figure (Jason Lee)—tries for a relaxing cruise and ends up scavenging for mangoes alongside a brain-fried castaway (SNL vet Jenny Slate). At rare moments, you get the impression that some of the people involved in the movie actually put thought into their work. The Chipmunks’ pop song covers are meticulously arranged. Their fur is animated with care. Then Alvin makes a tween-baiting ”honey badger” reference or slips into an ill-advised impersonation of a Latino thug (no, really), and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked reverts to nothing more than a cynical stab at grabbing kids’ attention—and, more importantly, their parents’ cash. C-

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