Saturday, January 05, 2008

Alvin and the Chipmunks, or On Awfulness

Glides effortlessly past bad, sashays gleefully through terrible and passes through the other side of awful to emerge as utterly reprehensible.

The titular three malformed, hypersexual, anally-fixated, scatologically-obsessed affronts to God’s creation wreak their havoc across a variety of mortifying setpieces with the aid of poor patsy Jason Lee. A closet Scientologist, Lee now has his own travesty to place on his mantel aside Battlefield Earth and the entire offscreen life of Tom Cruise.

The story is perfectly acceptable, provided that this is the first work of narrative entertainment one has ever encountered; anyone who has ever seen or read or heard anything else in the world, however, will quickly grow tired of the woeful deficiencies in plot, character, internal logic, possibility on this world or any other. (The central conceit – talking chipmunks! - we will allow by virtue of the standard filmic device of the One Implausible Object, or, if you are of a spiritual bent, as proof of the physical presence of evil in the world).

This wide-eyed disbelief will compete with one’s groaning disgust at the story itself, which is probably the single most wilfully clich├ęd thing ever written. Again, if entirely unversed in narrative, one could almost miss this; however, if this were the case, the movie would be utterly incomprehensible, revolving as it does around incredibly lame digs at the music industry circa whenever Alvin and the Chipmunks could last be seen on syndicated television. (Breaking point reached through ethical umbrage at the notion of lipsynching? Fucking seriously??)

Children, who the film addresses as sexually precocious little brand-junkies, deserve better. Adults will invariably feel a subtle, unshakeable malaise. If you, out there in Internet-Land, are contemplating having children, you would do well to bring them into the world, for the specific purpose of forbidding them to witness this monstrosity.

[originally appeared on Flicks]

No comments: