The world of reboots is now engrained into the Hollywood DNA. Hollywood has basically made an art out of recycling old script, resurrect old franchises and giving them new life in any possible way. However, in today’s environment, none of these bets are a sure thing. Lately, the idea of a reboot is seen with rolling eyes, and skepticism, and with good cause, as basically most reboots are only there to appeal to nostalgia and nothing more.
You can count with your hand fingers the amount of reboots that have actually proposed something new with the old idea, these reboots are very few and far between, but they exist. The problem is that even these movies that dared to go into uncharted lands don’t have success assured. Rebooting a franchise is a scary enterprise for sure.
Which is why it comes as such a big surprise that Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is such a good movie. No one really expected it to be, but it is, and we couldn’t be happier to see our favorite chipmunks coming back with a new adventure. One that dares to change the paradigm of how franchise works and yet, still feels like going back home after a long time away. It is a big surprise, specially as it is part of the Disney+ offering for this month.
Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is a film directed by Akiva Schaffer, and stars Andy Samberg, and John Mulaney in the titles roles, as well as a bunch of other actors like Kiki Layne, Will Arnett, Eric Bana, Tim Robinson, Seth Rogen, and J.K. Simmons. The film could be considered to be a Lonely Island joint. And we definitely labeled it that way, not only because Akiva is directing and Andy is doing the voice of one of the protagonists. But also because the movie is filled with a sense of humor that absolutely has the prints of these two all over.
Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers exceeds all expectations. It does it by being a comedy that is genuinely funny. A movie that also offers some solid action sequences, and one that, like we said before, is able to change the core values of the franchise and still feel like it belongs to it. In general the feel has the same vibe as another Lonely Island project, the also excellent, “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping”.
The movie could be compared to another great classic from the 80s, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” Roger even makes a cameo in the movie. Just like that old classic Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers, rebels in being an animated movie placed in the real world. It is always strange to see cartoons and live action actors sharing the same space, but Akiva manages to direct the scenes and make the interaction between both extremes to be quite believable.
The movie uses this sort of 3D cel-shading that looks as if it were 2D, but it is in reality a 3D model that changes and moves around the 3D space in a seamless way. Sometimes it becomes clear that the old characters are just that instead of actual 2D animation, but nevertheless, the effect is quite solid, and even when it breaks it isn’t something that hurts the movie at all.
The plot and the character arcs might be the most standard and even cliché of things, and they feel somewhat out of place, especially when the rest of the film explodes with so much energy and creativity. This is something that really hurts the movie because it makes it feel a bit outdated. Thankfully, the plot itself deals with an actual rescue, just like in the old TV show, and that is appreciated.
The movie can also be compared with Space Jam 2 as it is a movie that uses cameos as some of its more relevant elements. However, unlike Space Jam 2, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers really knows how to make the cameos work, by setting them as part of the plot instead of just being a series of non sequitur. The implementation of cameos in this movie should be the golden standard from now on. If you want your movie to be filled with random characters, then this is the way to do it.
One other problem with the film might be that this is definitely aimed at an adult demographic. Not because it deals with things like sex, alcohol, or drugs, but because its story circles around the meaning of getting old and how this affects us in the way we live. These themes are not really aimed at young kids, and most of the references and jokes also have a huge nostalgia charge in them. Maybe kids would not be able to appreciate the movie at is fullest.
Either way, what Akiva managed to achieve with this movie is something not many people expect, a good solid mystery film with action, tons of humor and a lot of heart. This movie is really one of the best surprises of 2022. We wish we could receive surprises like this one more often than not. If you ever saw the TV series as a kid, or you want to introduce the characters to a new generation, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is well worth the watch.