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The Angry Birds Movie Review

"No fly zone "

angry-birds-movie-picThe big question has to be if the producers of The Angry Birds Movie can develop a plot from this popular on-line game?

In 2009, the world of Angry Birds was introduced to the world as a simple downloadable video game. No one could have predicted the phenomenon that it would become or that it would lead to the production of a film based on a war between multi-coloured birds and green pigs. In the cinematic version, the island of flightless birds is one of happiness and bliss. A naive world of birds that live out an utopia-like existence that celebrates joy and despises any outbursts. Anyone who shows any signs of anger is relegated to an anger management class. The current flock of furious fowls is populated by the reclusive and temper-driven Red (Jason Sudeikis), impatient and speedy Chuck (Josh Gad), and the volatile Bomb (Danny McBride) who blows up when surprised. They are ostracised until annoying green pigs arrive at the island. This trifecta of irritable feathered creatures are the only birds who see the pigs as a threat to the peaceful bird life. Their plan is to gain the help of The Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) prior to the conniving swine taking over the island and attempting to steal birds’ future.

angry-birds-trailer-2-screenshot-pig-eggEven though the plot line seems quite dire, this is meant to be 2016’s latest animated comedy. The challenge is finding the humor in amongst the destruction of animal communities and the theft of eggs. The voice talent is some of the best comedic talent around, but regardless of all the humorous capabilities at their disposal, directors Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly waste it on an improbable and feeble storyline. They do attempt to lift the plot out of the mud of the pig sty with decent animation, but they cannot rely on computer animators to save this poorly executed script. 

The-Angry-Birds-Movie-eagleThere may not be high expectations of a video game inspired movie that is based on a battle between birds and pigs, but it was difficult to find much to celebrate in The Angry Birds Movie. A story that is marketed to a young audience, but attempts to blur the lines between humor designed for adults and children. This even fails to deliver, because there were no adults laughing during the screening, only a few snores, but not chuckles or gaffes. Also, the underlying themes of revenge and violence may be excused away by existing in a cartoon world, but ultimately they are not lessons worth teaching children. There were some redemptive qualities in the community attempting to work together to save their families, but the method in achieving these ideals resorted to the lowest means possible, vengeful violence. Angry Birds fails to entertain, fails to deliver a positive message and fails to get off the ground at all. 

No surprises in the end. Questioning if there could be a plausible storyline from the Angry Birds game was justified. There was not one and it might be worth waiting for Finding Dory or going to see Zootopia, again.

Kids Korner: Attending a screening with my ten-year-old daughter helped me to gain perspective on the target market for The Angry Birds Movie. 

My daughter felt that the all of the funnier parts were in the trailers and people would need to be fans of the game to really get it. Even being a fan of the game did not make her like the film. Overall, she thought it was pretty boring and was hoping that it would be funnier. She still thinks the best film this year for kids was Zootopia. 

  • Pro-family message
  • Storyline or lack of it

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Russell is an American ex-pat who has been transplanted in his new home of Sydney. He is a reviewer for Insights Magazine and the blog Russelling Reviews. He moderates events called Reel Dialogue (reeldialogue.com) which connects the film industry with the general public.

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