Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Chip 'n' Dale: Rescue Rangers

More than once while watching Chip 'n' Dale: Rescue Rangers I wondered to myself who this movie is for? The short-lived TV-series which ran from 1989-1990 gets a reboot of sorts here in a bizarre set up which mergers two-dimensional animated characters, three-dimensional CGI characters, and real actors. It's kind of like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, in terms of setup and a mystery to be solved, except it never finds a way to blend its various elements into a cohesive whole.

After a bit of backstory explaining the end of the Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers TV-show, the now estranged Dale (Andy Samberg) and Chip (John Mulaney) reunite to find their missing friend Monterey Jack (Eric Bana) who they believe has been sold into bootlegging animation. Because you know what kids these days love? Apparently nostalgia and ham-fisted lectures on the evils of piracy and bootlegging. Who knew?

While forcing the former friends back together to work through their issues and search for their missing friend works as a framework for the story, instead of plot what we get is mostly an odd assortment of cameos, Easter eggs, gimmicks, comedic distractions (including the chipmunks rapping), and nods to other properties from an insane assortment of sources. This movie references everything from Mickey Mouse to MC Skat Kat from Paula Abdul's "Opposites Attract" music video. KiKi Layne is also thrown into the mix as a detective and fan of the characters who nerds out while attempting to help, reminding me of the character Piper Perabo played in the far more effective The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle more than two decades ago.

If there's a positive to Chip 'n' Dale: Rescue Rangers, it's that the film isn't unwatchable. Don't get me wrong, it's a trainwreck in epic scale starting with the baffling choice to make one of the chipmunks CGI and then rendering the other in old-school animation leaving our main characters mismatched for the entire film. However, because it is such a complete disaster, it does have some kind of morbid fascination to it that makes you unable to look away. It's like Jean-Claude Van Damme doing Hamlet. It's not something that should ever be done, but if it was... you'd be curious to see just how bad it truly was.

It's obvious the people involved enjoyed the original cartoon but the script by Dan Gregor and Doug Mand (who previously teamed-up for Dolittle) is a mess that alludes, or outright steals, from plenty of other properties but doesn't have anything original to say once when the shenanigans stop. The only truth to to be found from the movie comes during the mid-credit sequence where the audience is asked why this product was given the greenlight versus other more deserving properties? Like much of the film, the creators are smart enough to ask the question in the form of yet another cameo (one which finally allowed for an unforced smile on my part), but once again there is no answer to be found.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Chip 'n' Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022)
  • IMDb: link

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