Movie Review: ‘The Angry Birds Movie’


Director: Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly

Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Sean Penn

Plot: Red is an angry bird living in a utopian island nation of optimists. When a race of pigs arrive from across the sea he is suspicious of their motives but no-one wants to listen to him.

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Review: I’ll have to hand it to Kaytis and Reilly, the animator and storyboard artist using this as their foot in the door into the field of directing (or possibly drew the short straw).. They did do their best with what they have, but what they have is a movie based on an app game with the depth of a puddle of spit. Rumours of an ‘Angry Birds’ movie did the rounds some 5 years ago and was met with incredulous disdain – that turned out to be the lacklustre Rio. When the official film actually turned up there had been such a consistent onslaught of tacky ‘Angry Birds’ merchandise the public were less surprised.

So now it’s here with a surprising number of known names attached for the voice roles. The second tier comedy names look odd next to Dinklage and Penn (although Dinklage is increasingly a red flag in comedy films). Bill Hader is the stand out as the hyperactive Chuck, but everyone is essentially playing to type.

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The story only serves to set up the usual gags you get in every pop culture film aimed at kids nowadays, right down to the pop song cover slapped over the end credits. Everything comes to a grinding halt once per act so they can crowbar in sequences from the game series without stopping to explain why slingshotting themselves at a brick wall is suddenly a good idea. They did explain away one of the stranger aspects of the game, namely the white bird dropping the eggs they are supposedly protecting…by explaining that she shoots fireballs out of her ass. Yeah, that’s the level we’re on with this movie.

Comedy-wise, there are a few chuckles amid the pratfalls but there’s little to laugh at in the grand scheme of things. Most jokes stretch out ten times longer than they need to. Most kids movies throw in a double entendre of two for the adults but this movie goes completely overboard, throwing in references to orgies and strippers and whatever else in almost every scene. 

This may be the first movie to be based on a smartphone app, but it’s going to be remembered as the project that paid Oscar winner Sean Penn to play a character who only speaks in grunts.

Rating: THREE out of TEN

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