Review: The Angry Birds Movie

The Angry Birds Movie (2016)

Based on the app of the same name, except less interactive.

The Angry Birds Movie (2016) poster - AustraliaThe saga of the birds that are understandably upset with a group of pigs began life as a series of mobile games, and has been spun off into a narrative format with Angry Birds Toons and Piggy Tales – not to mention toys, theme park attractions, beverages and even a cook book. Yet the limits of the concept are pushed in THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE, as an island of isolated and flightless birds treats Red (Jason Sudekis) as a social pariah for his negative attitude. When bearded pig Leonard (Bill Hader) arrives via boat, Red is the only one to spot that he and his green comrades may be up to no good. The promise of THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE came not just from the all-star voice cast, but from the writing pedigree of Jon Vitti, who was responsible for some of the classic scripts from the first few seasons of The Simpsons. Yet the decompressed version of the action game comes with none of Vitti’s prior wit or mastery of hyperlinked storytelling, casually taking us through a series of leisurely scenes, including a urinating eagle voiced by Peter Dinklage. Indeed, the first two acts of the film are uneventful and inconsequential, before the egg-stealing pigs finally do their thing and trigger the set-piece the audience is anticipating. There’s some genuine chuckles to be had, but they are few and far between, mostly a mishmash of confused pop-cultural references never quite decide if they are aiming for kids or parents, and there’s an odd political undercurrent that muddles things further. THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE is not the unmitigated disaster it could have been, but it’s an odd bird when compared to the strength of the animation market.

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE opens in Australia on 12 May 2016 from Sony and 20 May 2016 in the US

2016 | US | Dir: Fergal Reilly, Clay Kaytis | Writers: Jon Vitti  | Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon, Sean Penn, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage | Distributor: Sony | Running time: 97 minutes | Rating:★★½ (5/10).