In Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers, Chip and Dale are living amongst cartoons and humans in modern-day Los Angeles, but their lives are quite different now. It has been decades since their successful television series was canceled, and Chip (voice of John Mulaney) has succumbed to a life of suburban domesticity as an insurance salesman. Dale (voice of Andy Samberg), meanwhile, has had CGI surgery and works the nostalgia convention circuit, desperate to relive his glory days. When a former cast mate mysteriously disappears, Chip and Dale must repair their broken friendship and take on their Rescue Rangers detective personas once again to save their friend’s life.
To this day, I’ve never seen a single episode of the Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers animated series, despite the fact that as a youngster, I absolutely adored watching cartoons – as a matter of fact, they were basically all I ever watched. Because of my not watching that show, did I have a lame childhood? Probably. I can safely say that after watching this brand new live-action/computer-animated action-adventure comedy directed by Akiva Schaffer (who helmed the outstandingly hilarious Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping), that this is one of the funniest movies in years. Seriously.
If you were to have told me that an animated film about two goofy chipmunks would end up being one of best movies of the year and one of the funniest in several years, I would’ve legitimately laughed right in your face and told you you were crazy. But, alas, here we are. In my opinion, Schaffer is easily one of the best comedy directors out there, full stop. As I mentioned earlier, he famously directed Popstar, which has a reptuation for being off-the-walls crazy but in all the best ways.
And I can safely say that he more than brings that same energy to this project. This movie is honestly able to get away with a lot. This is a Disney movie, and yet absolutely nothing about it feels like one. It feels like the edgy humor of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (who, by the way, makes a cameo in this film) accompanied with the extremely meta and ridiculous comedy from Andy Samberg that we all know and love him for.
Speaking of Samberg, he is absolutely marvelous here in the voice role of Dale, who’s definitely the more optimistic chipmunk of the two. Dale is incredibly adamant about bringing the Rescue Rangers crew back together, but Chip isn’t so keen to tag along. This is mainly because, in the past, Dale abandoned him to join the cast of a spy television show, essentially leaving Chip and his career behind.
So, of course, Chip has every reason to be upset. Dale notices this immediately, and throughout the course of the film, does whatever he can to rekindle that friendship that he wishes was still a part of his life. Not only is this film hilarious (seriously, there are at least two jokes every minute), but it’s also surprisingly heartfelt and emotional. I didn’t expect myself to get teary-eyed in a movie about chipmunks, but that’s exactly what ended up happening.
John Mulaney is also great in the voice role of Chip, although he definitely does get outshined by Samberg quite a lot. There are plenty of amazing cameos throughout, including “Ugly Sonic,” from the 2020 film Sonic the Hedgehog. Oh, yeah, and J.K. Simmons is also in this film, so that’s kind of awesome.
At the end of the day, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is one of the most delightfully hilarious and heartfelt films of the year so far. It’s a relentlessly entertaining blend between live-action and animation that’ll leave you smiling from ear to ear.
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