The Angry Birds Movie review
Have you ever met someone who has NOT downloaded Angry Birds onto their smart phone? I sure haven’t. It shouldn’t even come as a surprise as the addicting game from Finland has been installed over two-billion times worldwide. It’s gotten a sequel, several spin-offs, a couple of movie tie-ins, and even has a cartoon series. What makes it’s really popular are two things. It’s relatively simple where the simple goal is to slingshot your way into the pigs, hoping to kill them all. It was easier to teach my dad this then to try and explain Sonic the Hedgehog. The other appeal is that the design is bright and colorful. You could even call it ironic, giving the dark nature of the flinging birds.
Just like the recent Ratchet & Clank, this game is giving the animated feature length format a try. Unlike the latter that already had a full story to use, the premise of the Angry Birds game is extremely thin; it’s birds versus the pigs. Now unlike some that already dismissed the idea of expanding this, I felt there was potential to this. Not a lot, but some. So does The Angry Birds Movie have the right idea for a film? It does, but… well here’s the story.
On a tropical island full of flightless birds, a grumpy bird Red (played by Jason Sudekis) seems to be an outcast due to his violent nature. His recent outburst at a birthday party sends him to anger management, as overseen by the overly happy therapist, Matilda (played by Maya Rudolph). Some of the others in the class include the high energy filled Chuck (played by Josh Gad), the explosive (literally!) Bomb (played by Danny McBride), and the really big Terence (played by Sean Penn). The four try to take in their lessons, until a ship pulls in.
The captain of this ship is a pig! A green pig Leonard (played by Bill Hader) who tells the birds that there are from another island that’s all pigs. The rest of the bird community seems pretty excited to these new visitors, all except for Red who suspicious. After winning them over with parties, the pigs make it off with all of the eggs, putting most of the expecting children in jeopardy. After trying to seek the advice of the Mighty Eagle (played by Peter Dinklage), Red leads the birds to the pig island where they’ll use a slingshot to try and beat them.
The Angry Birds Movie does build some characters, gives them a world where this would seem likely and even a premise to use the slingshot mechanics from the game. So what wrong with it? Boring.
You can tell with the strange premise, the film tries to have fun and throws a ton of jokes at you, but very few of them got a laugh out of me. My problem is that instead of being clever, there’s a lot of crass and crude jokes that are too cheap (butt jokes, pee jokes, and even sexual jokes).
Along with the ironically safe humor, the given story does not justify its ninety-minute running time. Like the rubber band of the slingshot, it’s stretches itself
too far (I even counted four unneeded musical montages). A better writer might have done more along with more usage of it’s comedians.
At it’s best, the animation is nice to look at. The last act, when it resembles the game, is a lot of fun. The best humor comes here too when it goes dark with the amount of destructions it does to the pigs. I really wanted more of the dark stuff, but nope; more butt and pee jokes.
I’ll give this two and a half Angry Birds apps out of five. You could say that the movie aims all over the place, but the jokes and story miss too much to be as addicting as the game. Ill keep my finger on my smartphone rather then this movie ticket.