Title: Angry Birds
Release Date: May 20, 2016
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Director: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly
Release Format: Theatrical
Video game adaptations don’t have a good track record, with the most recent Ratchet and Clank not being able to capitalize as a family film. The Angry Birds Movie is able to seize on what Ratchet and Clank could not, but not completely for the better. One of the biggest issues is that Angry Birds isn’t really a game that one could think that is adaptable. All you do is slingshot birds at rickety housing and TNT with pigs to get a high score, but Columbia pictures were able to make a movie out of it non-the-less. I must have spent quite a bit of time contemplating thinking why would a studio think they can make a movie out of a mobile game with no story. The movie feels like one huge cash grab (and most likely is). There are a few laughs, but nothing more.
The Angry Birds Movie, unlike its mobile game counterpart, actually has a story. Red, a loner-type, is trying to cope with being an outsider when he is forced into anger management classes because of some ridiculous event involving cake and clowns. The town he lives in just wants to be happy and not deal with even the slightest of problems, including anger. When the pigs show up, led by King Leonard, Red bands with fellow anger management classmates Chuck and Bomb to go in search for the Mighty Eagle because the town is so caught up in their happiness. You might remember seeing this premise in some other family films. This story is typical family fare mixed with some little humor. You should not expect much in terms of character and world building as well as intricate story telling.
While you shouldn’t expect much out of The Angry Birds Movie, you should expect to be bored. The pacing is a real problem in the 97-minute movie. Kids will sadly eat it all up and even with the few laughs you do get, it really isn’t worth watching. When the movie tries so much to be like the game in the climax, like said earlier, it feels like one huge cash grab. All of the typical motions you find in a family film, such as fart jokes and animal “nudity”, you will find it here.
After sitting through the first hour or so, the directors even go as far as trying to make the movie more like the game. Add a slingshot, which was founded on some weird circumstance, and that the birds all find out they have special powers to fight the pigs who low and behold stolen their eggs. The use of the theme, the basics of the game aren’t just the only way the movie tries to be like the game. There also happens to be an absurd amount of TNT and the same rickety housing. No explanation as to why these things are the way they are, they just happen. One saving grace is the film’s cast.
With a star-studded cast with the likes of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, and Danny McBride playing the main characters, one wouldn’t think that the movie could be great right? Wrong. Yes, the cast is funny; feel like they really enjoyed themselves, but they could be doing so much more. But this being a family film, the cast does pretty well. You also have Peter Dinklage, a standout, as the Mighty Eagle, while Bill Hader plays pig King Leonard but really didn’t contribute to the film. When really looking at it, most of the cast is filled with Saturday Night Live alum. You also have Maya Rudolph, Keegan-Michael Peele, and Kate McKinnon who give a few laughs respectively.
The animation of The Angry Birds Movie is nothing special either. 3D, being an option when seeing the movie, really doesn’t add much. There are a few instances, though, like when we meet Dinklage’s Mighty Eagle, that the 3D does contribute to some laughs. Otherwise, you shouldn’t really bother spending a few extra bucks to see some 3D gags. The soundtrack doesn’t really add anything as well. Expect a ton of modern pop music to compliment the movie like Imagine Dragons ‘On Top of the World’. Don’t worry, though; there are quite a few moments when they do use the Angry Birds theme song from the game for those who are wondering.
When you really think about it, The Angry Birds Movie shouldn’t be considered a video game adaptation. It feels more like your typical talking animal animated film for the family. With a star-studded cast, with the likes of Dinklage, McBride, and Sudeikis, it feels like everyone was going through the motions. Overall The Angry Birds movie comes with a few laughs and is a movie that the family can enjoy together. Just don’t go in expecting much.
- Characters: Characters seem to fit your typical talking animal family film. Cliche’, nothing unique about them.
- Cinematography: As an animated film, there is nothing really special to talk about. If seeing in 3D, it really isn’t a big deal, though kids will enjoy it.
- Story: Shouldn’t be considered a video game adaptation, but a family film. Pulls the same punches as any other talking-animal animated film for the family.
- Acting: The actors seemed to have embraced their characters, came off as they liked voicing them. With a star-studded cast of Jason Sudeikis, Peter Dinklage, and Bill Hader, to name a few, the one thing the movie gets right is the casting.
- Some humor for everyone of all ages
- Cast seemed to have fun
- Cliche' story
- Goes through all the motions of family film
- Not for everyone