Published on June 2nd, 2016 | by William O'Dell0
Angry Birds: The Movie
For some weird reason (probably because he has kids), William went to see Angry Birds. Now it just seems like he’s a really angry bird.
Last weekend was just another opening day weekend in May with what could have been a tentpole for animated movies this summer. As an avid sci-fi/fantasy/comic book/animated movie buff, I took my children to see both Angry Birds and Captain America: Civil War.
Caveat: my twins are eight. Caveat part two: Someone else already did a review of Civil War, which means that I got the rotten end of the deal by having to review Angry Birds, much like having to see it.
In case you have been living under a rock for the last seven years, Angry Birds is one of the earliest smartphone games — probably the one that paved the way for so many more. And since Hollywood has to rehash everything, someone decided it was a good idea to ‘expand’ and recycle the game’s core story into a movie.
In an eggshell, pigs come to Bird Island, con the birds, set explosives, steal the eggs and destroy the birds’ nests, er, homes. The birds then build a boat to go to Piggy Island, because they can’t fly?! Thus they must be shot in a slingshot over the walls to break into the castle to rescue the eggs.
This movie is nothing more than an extended and enhanced gameplay trailer with lines given to the characters. The latter third of the movie could have been taken shot for shot from one of the many iterations of the game.
Unfortunately, the first two-thirds of the movie did not have any redeeming qualities either. For example, the voice cast was mostly comedians with a few major thespians thrown in for flavour. Despite the flock of talent trying to lift this movie up, it was potty humour and physical comedy at best without anything of substance for adults to laugh about.
Caveat part three: My kids laughed at and liked Angry Birds more than Captain America.
And the best/worst example of why this flightless film is funny to children was Josh Gad’s voicework for the fast yellow bird, Chuck. If you liked him as Olaf in Frozen, chances are you will love him here. Otherwise, most adults taking their children to see this movie will immediately recognize and dread hearing that voice throughout the entire movie.
Most animated movies, especially those in the Disney/Pixar and even Dreamworks camps, have figured out that the way to really sell these movies is to pander to the kids while giving the adults enough veiled humour that it’s not annoying. This movie was just foul — there was no attempt.
There was also no attempt at a redemption in this movie. The angry red bird — appropriately named Red — was unrelentingly angry throughout the whole movie. If anything, by the end of the movie, if the kids take any message away, it’s that it’s OK to be angry and sometimes you just have to let it out and be destructive and abusive of situations.
Speaking of destructive and just plain stupid writing — how do you make an omelet by boiling eggs in green water? Why is it that there is only one bird on the whole island who can fly? Why does one bird shoot destructive sparkles out of her tailfeathers while another can blow up a building, but not himself?
Why is it that Hollywood still thinks it’s a good idea to make movies out of games? Come on, who could forget such classics as Battleship or Super Mario Brothers? Next in line — Warcraft and Fruit Ninja!
Please, someone tell them the bird is overdone and will bust open like a Griswold Christmas turkey if you try to suck any more life out of these game plots.