The Angry Birds Movie | Review

My Bacon ANGRY BIRDS was so addictive, a simple phone app game that took the world by storm and saw teenagers, parents and old single folk like myself losing their shit while slingshotting birds into buildings built by pigs. I got to so addicted and frustrated I had to delete the game, side note: same thing happened with WoW and anything Lara Croft haha. BUT – the people at Sony Pictures have brought ANGRY BIRDS to life in an animated feature film that the entire world said “wtf?” when it was announced, but they somehow made it work and Kernel John shares his thoughts on the movie. It is out now, it is rated PG and runs for 97mins and worship the eagle, it is Tyrion Lannister aka Peter Dinklage :). All the best……die bacon….JK.

 

Angry Birds Movie poster image

 

BY JOHN MCPARLAND

For those not in the know, the Angry Birds game was originally a phone and tablet app released at the end of 2009 that had you fire a bunch of frightfully destructive birds into the ramshackle housing development of a group of thieving pigs. I remember playing Angry Birds on my mobile when it first came out all those many years ago. Trying to get the perfect angles; managing my preciously small supply of poultry projectiles; raging out like a lunatic when I pulled too far back on the slingshot, causing my finger to slip off of the touch screen, unpreparedly sending my last bomber bird careening through the stratosphere because I had not yet lined up the shot correctly. Good times.

My greatest joys though would come from those spectacular runaway chain reaction explosions that would result from landing that perfect shot. The happiness that would ensue from watching the entire game field detonate in a blaze of TNT, glass, wood and bacon bits, was often enough for me to forget about the questionable premise of a bunch of birds that require an oversized slingshot to fly across the landscape, instead of just, you know, actually flying. Of course, that is not to say that flightless birds do not exist. Many birds fall into this category, such as chickens, emus, and penguins, as well as every other bird species if they happen to be asleep at the time. No, no, the birds in the Angry Birds universe cannot fly because they have no wings, like some weird aerodynamic rock with a beak. You know what the hell sort of bird does not have wings? A cow! Stupid plotline…

Anyway, as I was saying, the best part of the Angry Birds experience for me was its destructive nature. I mean, who does not enjoy the visual spectacle of a little wanton destruction? Sadly, THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE misses the mark a bit in this arena, focusing far too much on the thin and dubious storyline of the game, while relegating the annihilating aspects that were so very thrilling to an all too brief period in the film’s final act.

 

angry birds movie image

 

The star of this computer animated adventure movie is Red, voiced by Jason Sudeikis (HORRIBLE BOSSES), a bird with severe anger issues. Sentenced to anger management classes by general consensus of the island’s exclusively avian population, Red meets fellow ragers Chuck, voiced by Josh Gad (the voice of Olaf in FROZEN), Bomb voice by Danny McBride (THIS IS THE END), and Terrance, voiced by Sean Penn (THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY). Partway through one of their group sessions, Leonard the Pig, voiced by Bill Hader (TRAINWRECK), arrives to the island aboard his ship, to the shock and curiosity of all the birds. He soon wins the birds over though with sweet words and lavish gifts, mostly of an explosive or technological nature, the likes of which the birds had never seen before. As more and more of the green pigs arrive on the island, Red becomes suspicious of their motives, but all of his attempts to warn the populace are shouted down. The pigs then decide to throw a massive dance party, inviting the entire island to attend. However, with all the birds occupied at the disco, the army of pigs ransack the place, stealing all of the eggs and destroying the entire town on their rampage back to their boats. Despite their best efforts, Red and his friends notice too late to stop them. Determined not to be defeated, the birds unite behind Red to launch an expedition out to the pigs’ island to retrieve their stolen eggs.

This film’s greatest strength is its animation, which is truly extraordinary. Movements, expressions, and interactions are all wonderful. The backgrounds and scenery are equally as beautiful. Colours are so bright and vivid that they simply pop off of the screen, drawing the eye and just generally filling you with a sense of wonder. Likewise, the destructive scenes, those few that there are, are absolutely fantastic to witness. So much so, that I just wished more time could have been dedicated to the birds’ siege.

 

angry birds movie image

 

Where this film fails is its plot. It is very slow, taking a long time to get anywhere, before rushing through the ending. You do not need to be an old hand at the game to know that the pigs steal the eggs, the film’s advertisements make that plainly obvious. Sadly, in a film barely an hour and a half in length, it takes over an hour for the eggs to be taken, with everything being wrapped up in the next twenty five minutes or so. So much time dedicated to a flimsy storyline and so little to the classic elements of the game that this film is based on.

Debuting directors Fergal Riley and Clay Kaytis present us with a film whose target market is actually a little harder to place than you might think. While the colourful and animated nature of the film makes it clearly directed at children, the Angry Birds app has been out for a quite a while. Those that first immersed themselves in this puzzle game would be older teenagers or adults by now, if they were not already. There are a few moments of adult humour in the film, such as a reference to THE SHINING, and a novel found aboard the pigs’ boat titled Fifty Shades of Green, but for the most part the gags are for the kids. Because of this, those who enjoyed the app back in the day, and who were hoping for a classic game made into an immersive film, will be disappointed. THE LEGO MOVIE this is not, but that is not to say that it was not enjoyable in its own right.

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE is one that kids are sure to love, if for no other reasons than the amazing animation and amusing jokes. Accompanying adults may find their mind wandering at times, but are sure to leave the cinema with a smile on their faces nonetheless.

 

3 Pops

 

 

A lifelong lover of the silver screen, Kernel John strives to engage and entertain his audience through the shameless use of humour in his reviews, even when it probably isn’t warranted. When not musing for Salty, you can often find John bouncing between his extreme states of either puppy watching down by the beach, or reflecting on the deepest mysteries of the Universe.

** All images courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor/publisher – credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.