Friday, May 20, 2016

The Angry Birds Movie review

By Nico Beland
Movie Review: B+ (3 stars)
(From left to right) Bomb, Red, and Chuck in The Angry Birds Movie

            The first thing you’re thinking pops into everyone else’s head too, why and/or how do you make a movie based on a game you play on your tablet or smartphone where you shoot birds out of a slingshot? Well surprisingly the end result is an energetic, fast, and funny animated feature that throws joke after joke after joke, and a majority of them hit bullseye.
            I know it’d be impossible for them to adapt the movie straight from the game, because let’s be fair the Angry Birds game is not story heavy and doesn’t offer much meat to make an engaging story to put on the screen. Fortunately, Angry Birds has transferred well to other media, the animated series, Angry Birds Toons is a perfect example and after watching some episodes I thought to myself “You know if The Angry Birds Movie was a CG version of the show, I could see it work as a movie”.
            And now Rovio Animation, the team behind the Angry Birds franchise has joined forces with Sony Pictures to bring The Angry Birds Movie. Also technically since this is adapted from a game, I consider it a video game movie and seeing how it’s animated, the characters from the game are recognizable, and the story takes full advantage of the lack of story the original game offers and does whatever it wants with it, then this is pretty much one of the best video game movies ever.
            Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph and last month’s Ratchet & Clank both attempted to breathe new life into the video game movie genre after several stinkers, and now The Angry Birds Movie manages to turn a very simple game into a witty and visually impressive looking movie. The film is filled with humorous gags, pop culture references, and several bird and pig jokes and puns, and none of them get tiring, they kept me laughing all the way through.
            Ever since childhood, Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis-Drinking Buddies, Horrible Bosses, Epic) hasn’t always been a very happy bird, his classmates would make fun of him and his large eyebrows, he doesn’t feel respected by the other birds, and he’s just an all-around jerk with some serious anger management problems. After a meltdown at a little kid’s birthday, Judge Peckinpah (voiced by Keegan-Michael Key-Key & Peele, Tomorrowland, Keanu) sentences him to anger management class where he must manage his anger before he starts causing more trouble.
            On his first day of anger management Red meets fast running blabbermouth, Chuck (voiced by Josh Gad-Frozen, The Comedians, Pixels), Bomb (voiced by Danny McBride-Tropic Thunder, Despicable Me, This is the End) who has been known to “Blow Up”, and Terence (voiced by Sean Penn-Dead Man Walking, Mystic River, Milk) a giant red bird who doesn’t talk and only growls. However, what starts as a simple day of anger management turns into something huge as a ship of mischievous and mysterious pigs led by their king Leonard (voiced by Bill Hader-Superbad, Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs, Trainwreck) shows up to bring peace and offerings of friendship to the citizens of Bird Island.
            All the birds seem to love partying with the pigs, Red however feels something suspicious is going on as he, Chuck, and Bomb investigate the pigs’ ship and finds out the pigs are plotting to steal all the birds’ eggs to make one giant omelet out of them for the pigs on Piggy Island. So it’s up to Red, Chuck, Bomb, and all the citizens of Bird Island to get angry, defeat the pigs, and save their eggs before they become a balanced breakfast.
            The film also features the voices of Tony Hale (Stranger Than Fiction, The Informant, The Heat) as Peckinpah’s servant, Cyrus, Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live, Idiocrasy, Bridesmaids) as the anger management teacher, Matilda, and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, X-Men: Days of Future PastPixels) as the Mighty Eagle.
            Overall, The Angry Birds Movie is a very fun animated movie, it delivers everything I love in animation, fast, energetic animation, constant jokes and gags, and really clever pop culture references. The fast animation in the movie actually reminds me a lot of Sony’s Hotel Transylvania movies where it’s fast animation and constant jokes thrown at you all throughout the film.
            But what does make most of the comedy work is the voice acting, Jason Sudeikis makes a perfect Red, he always plays great jerky characters in his other movies and the writing gives him plenty to work with and he gets lots of laughs, Josh Gad as Chuck is basically the complete opposite of his Olaf the Snowman performance from Frozen where he’s loud, talks fast, and annoys the other characters, Danny McBride as Bomb is basically Danny McBride with a bunch of explosives in his stomach and yeah he’s funny, Bill Hader as the evil pig king Leonard is hilarious, he’s an evil criminal mastermind who also has a sense of fun in everything he’s doing and it’s hard not to chuckle whenever you hear Bill Hader’s voice come out of the pig’s mouth.
            So I really enjoyed The Angry Birds Movie, despite Angry Birds not being a game I play frequently, which is good because it shows that it’s a movie anyone can see and possibly enjoy, people who have played the games, people who watched the cartoons, families, the list goes on. I say this because while I enjoyed Ratchet & Clank last month I was a huge fan of the games however that movie is probably best enjoyed if you’re a fan of the games and it pretty much alienated film critics and family movie audiences.

            This however, Angry Birds fans or just looking for a fun movie to take the family to, you won’t be disappointed with The Angry Birds Movie, see it and let loose your rage and joy.

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