I really liked Jason Lee’s characters the first time I saw him. The first time I saw him was in the movie Mi Vida Loca (1993), but I think it was Mallrats (1995) where I actually payed attention to his character.
His character in Mallrats was a refreshing role back then, one I could at least partially identify with from my earlier days. And he played it so well, you actually got the feeling that he probably at one point really lived his life like that. It wasn’t so hard to believe as I had lived very similarly in my youth, minus hanging out at the mall at that age or being interested in comic books.
However, when I saw him in Jersey Girl – I wasn’t as impressed as with his previous work. I could tolerate his character – but I felt it was forced, lackluster, and way too typical at this point. It was as if Kevin Smith told him to “be funny, like in Mallrats”, and that was his only direction.
Once I watched a few episodes of My Name Is Earl, and found out that Jason Lee is a Scientologist, his stock in my market took a huge plummet. Then I find out that he was starring in Alvin and the Chipmunks and I lost all hope.
Not only is this a defecation on (like so many other re-makes) the chipmunks I grew up with – it looks to be even worse of a performance by Jason Lee. How many times can you rehash the same old bumbling character with some out-dated witticisms, and still have it be a success? I understand that “kids of today” won’t know the difference, but come on! This just reeks of typical cheese. The only hope is that David Cross makes enough funny appearances to make it somewhat tolerable.