The first throwaway kids film of the Summer
Most of the Western world will have played, or at least heard of, the Angry Birds franchise which flew its way into our lives in 2009. Since then the download figures of the app have entered the billions category. Endless merchandise has successfully infiltrated the shops and the production of a movie is not that surprising, with that kind of pre-sold audience it makes business sense, although a degree of universal dubiousness was held over the prospect of 90 minutes of screentime being generated from a mobile phone app. The end result? Well, it’s not offensive or massively memorable…
Red (Jason Sudeikis) is the loner of Bird island. An orphan who has always been treated with a degree of suspicion and amusement by his fellow citizens he’s never really fitted in. Since childhood he has been quick to anger, something that is ill-regarded by everyone else, and when a new incident occurs which leads him to lose his temper once more he is sentences to anger management classes. The classes are run by Matilda (Maya Rudolph) and are attended by regulars Chuck (Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride) and Terence (Sean Penn). The four of them want to help Red and offer friendship, which he refuses. When a pig explorer, called Leonard (Bill Hader), comes to island Red is quick to voice his suspicions. When disaster strikes there is only one person Red thinks he can turn to, the Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) who has been missing for years, and he’s going to need the help from those he just tried to reject.
By all rights Angry Birds is better than any app turned film deserves to be. It’s frequently entertaining and induces enough laughs whilst watching to earn its ticket price. However it’s a cinema watching experience that is resolutely hollow. Only 15 hours on from watching and I’m hard pressed to name a favourite sequence from the film – it lacks the substance we now come to expect from animated movies. The characters are silly and fun enough, the jokes deliver frequently and occasionally crudely amusing. The audience favourite character will probably be Chuck, but that will most likely be his resemblance to characters such Quicksilver or Deadpool – just U-rated versions! Also it needs to be said that is a mighty fine cast-list! It’s a shame there talent’s are pretty underused here.
Considering Angry Birds started just after an advert for the very long awaited Finding Dory and the Angry Birds villain also voiced a character (Fear) in Inside out , well a comparison between this and Pixar is an obvious thing to make. Angry Birds is not Pixar or Zootropolis, it does not have the warmth or wit nor anything occurring that is anywhere near as memorable as the aforementioned movies. But with Half Term on the horizon there’s enough here to distract the children for 90 minutes with more than enough amuse the parents too.