Who's In It: Bill Nighy, Zach Galifianakis, Will Arnett and the voices of Nicolas Cage, Jon Favreau, Penelope Cruz, Tracy Morgan, Steve Buscemi
The Basics: Talking guinea pigs who can operate heavy machinery, hack huge information systems, infiltrate enemy strongholds and fight like ninjas have to battle an evil corporation set on destroying all human life with automated home appliances that turn into huge Transformers-like robots. Meaning that all Michael Bay needed in his movies were a few adorable pet rodents to take down those Decepticons.
What's The Deal: It's perfectly adequate. I know, that doesn't exactly count as praise. But because this is a Jerry Bruckheimer production, a lot more time was devoted to the chases and crashes and explosiony parts than to the dialogue. Coulda been smarter, coulda been wittier, coulda been less trite about heroism and family and blah-blah-you're-special-blah, but at least the action is exciting. And if you're going to see it then make sure it's in 3-D because that's an integral component of the hypermotion looking as good as it does.
How To Avoid Boredom If You're An Adult Who Needs A Little More Stimulation Than The Hilarity Of Farting Guinea Pigs: You can always count the references to other films. Apocalypse Now, Die Hard, Scarface. There are others. The only drawback is that it's not a game you can play with the kids you've been assigned to chaperone.
The Many Acting Moods Of Zach Galifianakis's Beard: First of all it's just weird to see him in a kid movie, knowing that his stand-up comedy is the polar opposite of child-appropriate. And I've also noticed something else. You can tell from project to project who his character is supposed to be based on the grooming of his trademark facial hair. Playing a homeless guy on The Sarah Silverman Program? Grimy with stuff in the beard. Mentally unbalanced partier in The Hangover? Big, straggly, unkempt and sweaty. Sweet-natured crimefighting guinea pig caretaker? A nice neat trim, close to the face. It even looks like his eyes were turned a deeper shade of digital blue.
Warning To All Indulgent Parents Of Impressionable Children Who're Going To Want A Hamster And/Or Guinea Pig Of Their Own After Viewing This Movie: Don't give in to this demand. Because the first thing your kid is going to do is try to make the poor animal fly or drive a toy car off the top of a house, put lipstick and nail polish on it or suffocate it in a doll's dress. And then you're going to have to deliver the eulogy at a guinea pig funeral. Mark my words.