I’ll just openly admit that I never played “Angry Birds.” I know it was a popular game three years ago, used on cell phones that involved animated birds being hurled in to crap, and now for some reason it’s a movie. It’s a movie that’s filled with loud noises, a warbling pop soundtrack, bright colors, and still manages to bore successfully. You can argue that this is a movie for kids, so it was obvious I wouldn’t like it. But I refuse the premise of your argument and no longer accept that cheap excuse. Kids are not this stupid. The last few years have proven kids can be given complex and rich entertainment and appreciate it completely.
Kids deserve better than a long drawn out animated scene of a bald eagle urinating in to a lake that our characters just drank from moments ago. And the urination isn’t implied or off screen. We actually see the bald Eagle open his legs letting loose of a yellow stream of urine as the characters watch every second in horror. The intended comic effect is lost and the scene is just absolutely grotesque. Red is an angry bird that has a problem with his temper after a life of being mocked and derided by his fellow birds. After an incident involving working as a clown for a kids’ party, he is sent to therapy to work out his rage issues.
He meets other male birds with their own psychological problems, including Bomb and Chuck, both of whom Red bonds with. Red quickly becomes weary of the arrival of a bunch of green pigs, all of whom ingratiate themselves in to the island of Red’s fellow birds. When he learns of their ulterior motives, he teams up with fellow angry birds Bomb and Chuck to save the day. Along the way there’s a lot of loud pointless dialogue, a ton of references, and gags that will go over the heads of the intended audience (Seriously? A “The Shining” reference?). “The Angry Birds Movie” is virtually unfunny and pretty monotonous.
There are a lot of rapid fire visual jokes that almost inspire a smile, but that seems more accidental than anything else. That said, there is a fine cast of folks like Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, and Bill Hader, while the animation is way better than the film deserves. At the end of the day this is not a film I’d ever show a child. It’s xenophobic, hollow, and built by a committee and focus groups that will pander to current trends and rake in big bucks. I imagine, though, that it’ll be fodder for busy moms or dads anxiously trying to distract their children for ninety minutes.