Well, well, well, The Angry Birds Movie 2 is surprisingly a tolerable follow-up from the insufferable Angry Birds, even if it still follows old plot formulas.
Like the first movie, greater time goes into developing the pop culture references than the conflict, which includes lines about a duck-face selfie, Snapchat filters, “steps” getting in, a pig drinking from a Starbucks cup, and even a sound effect from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to make it sound more dated—not to mention a bunch of guards at a government facility break dance like they were Happy Feet extras rejected at casting call. Just a reminder that these pop culture jokes are all done by islanders who otherwise wouldn’t be familiar with any of these things. Alongside forced fads are apparently mandatory scenes that copy what other kids’ movie do, particularly the “This whole thing is my fault” line. Listen: copying others never works out! It’s important to stand out from the crowd to leave an impression, and not jump on a bandwagon to be just more white noise.
The lack of originality doesn’t exploit the new love interest for Red, that being Chuck’s sister, Silver. Yes, apparently all blockbusters require a love interest to be better. Silver does love mathematics, except this low amount of personality isn’t enough to make something of the romance, especially since most of their interactions have them lying on top of each other, to give the wrong idea for onlookers. It’s much like when Fiona tries to pull an arrow out from Shrek’s butt, until Donkey sees her on his back, then says slyly, “Look, if you wanted to be alone, all you had to do was ask, okay?”
On the light side, Red is a better developed character now with a transparent fear of being left out; the feelings get stronger once he is seen respected as hero of Bird Island, only to be a nobody again once a truce between the pigs and birds is established. Now, Red falls into depression, left eating popcorn while on the floor, then his chance of purpose finally comes when he unites with the pig king Leonard to form a team set on stopping their lands from destruction by Eagle Island.
This Eagle Island of course is inhabited by eagles, but their home suffers from sub-zero conditions that freezes their entire livelihood. A montage shows the mundane activities on Eagle Island that are impossible to happen due to ice, including showering, swimming, or eating fish, but it doesn’t work because the cartoon vs. photorealism animation style isn’t consistent enough, attempting to merge the exact shapes of little kid doodles with what can be felt by touch. The animation is so inconsistent in fact, that in one scene, Red wears a snow cap that gets blown away by the wind, then it’s back again minutes later. The poor use of computer technology is not the only complaint to address about Eagle Island, in fact, there are countless more about its backstory… how did their home reach sub-zero conditions? Morgan Freeman, please offer your narration to help provide answers! A voiceover would really be nice here, because the characters all talk too fast to understand their explanations of the plot.
Instead of making sense, this sequel focuses on one new addition to the world that helps the most in improving the series: three baby hatchlings. These little fluff-balls seem to be inspired by Looney Toons in the adventures they go on to return some eggs that they lost at sea. The main plot switches back-and-forth between these little guys, leaving on appropriate cliff hangers, and picks up again from where left off before. These scenes take up a significant amount of screen time, representing both the biggest strength and greatest flaw of the feature. It’s great because these scenes are actually funny in their gags with relatively little dialogue, but poor because these fun antics prove little focus on the story; besides one tiny contribution the hatchling trio make in the climax, they could be written out super easily without hurting anything. While they can get a good chuckle, for each good comedic line, there’s three more that don’t work (that bothersome mime from the first movie is still here unfortunately).
There’s something worse at stake with the prioritization of jokes over story, it proves that The Angry Birds Movie 2 encourages individualism through the selfish, foolish actions of Red’s team. Instead of encouraging friendship, it popularizes the term “frenemies,” and since this movie and the last can’t remain consistent in forming common sense in their worlds, it numbs a child’s brains more as they take in whatever messages the TV tells them. Really—they notice pig rumps more than story. Heck, a line in here shouts, “None of us wear pants!” Imagine kids repeating that around the house!
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
The Angry Birds Movie 2. Sony Pictures Entertainment. Web. <https://sites.sonypictures.com/angrybirds/site/en/>.
McClintock, Pamela. “Box Office: 'Angry Birds Movie 2' Opens in Fifth Place With $2.6M.” Digital image. The Hollywood Reporter. 14 Aug 2019. Web. <https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-angry-birds-movie-2-opens-26m-1231515>.