Matthew Ramsey’s review published on Letterboxd:
Before I get into the review, I want to share a few things about myself. I have not seen anything else by the Lonely Island team which made this movie. As familiar as I am with the television show "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers", I've only watched the entirety of one episode and caught snippets of other episodes. I don't care to watch the rest of the show for myself, but the catchy theme song has been living, rent-free, in my head for most of my life. Now, let's talk about the movie.
Not gonna lie: "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers" the movie didn't work for me. I did like some of the ideas in here such as characters from all animation styles living in the same live-action realm. The "bootlegging" is a very smart and novel scheme from a movie villain. Although I don't get much delight from seeing brief cameos of IP figures, there is... something in seeing stuff like that "ugly" character and "XXXXXX vs. XX" in the same movie or even specifically a Disney movie. All over this flick is excessive, self-referential comedy which has become quite a popular trend in pop culture for years now. It works here for only so much.
I think the plot itself will be a dealbreaker for many people. It's the timeworn story of two guys meeting in childhood before growing up together to become successful in the profession they share. Then, they break up before reuniting to deal with the story's central conflict, or they just go straight to the conflict. Danger, hijinks, twists and bonding ensue. "21 Jump Street" in Disney/Pixar/Anime-and-other-stuff clothing. The self-aware commentary does help to make the experience not tedious. For every scene or joke I had predicted, I would be greeted with a little surprise. Again, that only worked here for only so much. It gets predictable and stale after a while hearing the characters mention the story's predictability, and the movie has few to none expectations truly subverted.
Most of the viewing just put me in an awkward, concerned smiling face. I got a laugh from one thing, and that was when Gadget and Zipper returned after a long absence. I'm happy that Tress MacNeille got to reprise her role, and my favorite thing from this whole movie is just hearing Dennis Haysbert be little Zipper's voice. I partly wish that they got more screentime.
I don't want to dwell on this particular subject for too long in this post, but I have to bring up "Sweet Pete". Despite some amusing lines, I find the character to be in really poor taste. I couldn't help thinking about Bobby Driscoll, the original voice actor for Disney's Peter Pan, during the backstory part. With this alongside the adult humor on the state of the entertainment industry and the dark side of the business, it's sort of a mystery to me how the writers and director got the ideas past the Mouse itself.
Just one more small complaint, I promise. I'm not sure the look of the 2-D animation in here is right. I'm guessing the crew used the technique of putting the hand-drawn look over 3-D models. Whatever was used, I was sometimes distracted by it and longed for more fluidity in the movement of the 2-D creations.
With all of the above negative critiques, do I hate "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers"? No, I don't. The knowing dialogue and the vocal performances made the experience go down easily enough. I feel more of an indifference to the movie, and I've already forgotten parts of it. "Chip 'n Dale" is much more bearable than "Space Jam 2" for me, but "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" is still my character crossover movie of choice.