The entire concept of birds sacrificing themselves to knock pigs off construction sets is easily an idea I could have come up with last Friday night at 2:30am after multiple shots of hard liquor. But who cares, right? That’s what makes Angry Birds so oddly engaging to play! So of course, this is the perfect material to make a motion picture out of! I mean, come on. I have always enjoyed the iPhone game, but how could a 97-minute story of these birds possibly be decent?
Well, just like this:
Step 1. You make the main character an underdog with an anger issue who is disrespected by the town.
Step 2. You set up his team through an anger management class.
Step 3. You introduce the filthy rich green pigs as the main villains a quarter of the way through the movie, promising fun recreational activities for these villagers.
Step 4. You make the main character the only one in the town who knows how to stop these deceptively bad pigs.
Step 5. You let these bad pigs steal the eggs of the birds in the town in order to eat them.
Step 6. You save the actual game-playing part until the final moments, and only for five minutes tops.
Step 7. You throw in puns. Lots and lots of puns.
I’ve gone crazy now after hearing, “Happy hatch-day, Pluck my life, Insta-ham, and Kevin Bacon in Hamlet.” But you know what? Toucan play at that. If this movie can go mad with puns, then I sure flocking can too!
The movie’s egg-selent screenwriter Jon Vitti got his start writing adult comedies such as SNL and The Simpsons, and maybe he should have left his nest there. He sprinkles in a confusing mix of not-so-subtle jokes meant to fly over the kids’ heads, along with humor that is winging it toward the twelve and younger crowd. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but that’s not the worst of the script. While each character, big or small, is memorable and faithful to their virtual counterparts, they are also entirely unmotivated and all-around fowl.
Each bird is either:
D. All the above
Owl go with option D.
Heron the island of birds, we meet all the same characters from the game. You know that white egg-shaped bird named Matilda? She’s voiced sweetly and calmly (despite being an “angry” bird) by Maya Rudolph, the only actor in the cast who dove into the role with serious effort. Then that yellow triangle-shaped bird named Chuck is voiced by Josh Gad, and he is basically Olaf gone cuckoo. His best friend is that black bomb bird, and together they are so un-emu-sing that you ought to flip the bird at each of them. The gigantic bird, named Terence, is the closest thing to funny this movie gets to, and he just flew right by without enough screen time. Then there’s the little blue bird that beaks into three, who doesn’t even show up until the end-credits scene. Oh, and I guess there’s Red. Yeah, his character just flew south on me.
The world of these birds is also rather cheep. Basically it is all recreated from the designs in the game as well as the Toon series (since after all, everyone behind the scenes was too chicken to take risks and be creative). I’m sure it is a beautiful world on screen, but aviary-thing in the frame was moving too fast for me to get a good look at the details. But essentially, while it’s ostrich from the PG rating, the most genius thing is a pregnant bird carrying her egg strapped onto her like a pregnant human. Seriously—what the duck?!
The jokes probably would have quacked me up if the animators actually took a breather in between each pratfall and one-liner. Also, if half the jokes were removed entirely, the uninspired incomprehensible plot would have felt less gull. By jokes, I mean a nipple gag, a malfunctioning stairway, and an eagle peeing into a pond for a full minute (yes, this movie resorts to that hawkward level of humor).
Yet a-parrot-ly, there are still a few attempted messages. It teaches that while anger ought to be ill-eagle, it’s good motivation to fight for the right causes; but it’s also entirely forgotten by the last few moments and is even deliberately mocked.
I’m talon you, if a movie about the Angry Birds really needed to exist, then it should have be done by artists who actually gave a hoot to the parents who had the bird-en of allowing the ticket prices to go on their bill. So stick with the game, there’s no peeing eagles.
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!
Angry Birds Movie. Sony Pictures. Web. <http://www.angrybirds-movie.com/en/>.
Common Sense Media. Web. <https://www.commonsensemedia.org/>.
Roberts, Sheila. ‘The Angry Birds Movie': Fergal Reilly & Clay Kaytis on Transitioning from Animators to Directors. Collider. Complex Media Inc., 15 May 2016. Web. <http://collider.com/angry-birds-movie-directors-fergal-reilly-clay-kaytis-interview/>.
Trumbore, Dave. ‘Angry Birds’: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, and Maya Rudolph Crow about the New Movie. Collider. Complex Media Inc., 18 May 2016. Web. <http://collider.com/angry-birds-cast-jason-sudeikis-josh-gad-maya-rudolph-interview/>.
Watch the new trailer for The Angry Birds Movie! Digital image. Rovio. EULA, 12 Apr 2016. Web. <http://www.rovio.com/watch-new-trailer-angry-birds-movie>.