The Angry Birds Movie is the film adaption of an iPhone time waster where you catapult limbless birds at limbless pigs in order to lay waste to their homes and recapture some eggs. It was directed by two animators who have zero previous directing experience, written by the sad adult man who penned the live action Alvin and the Chipmunks movies, and squarely aimed to slingshot at an audience of children who are still playing Angry Birds.
It cost $80 million to make and roughly $100 million to market, so thank god it's a box office failure: maybe Hollywood will learn a thing or two about focusing on brave and original ideas instead of cashed in schlock. Well, that's it then, right? I'll check back in when it's time to criticize the upcoming emoji movie?
Wait- it made $150 million in its opening weekend alone, and it's at the top of the domestic box office? I suppose it's time to quietly suffocate my inventive ideas and dreams of filmmaking with a bird feather pillow. Or maybe I'll direct the Neko Atsume movie. Is that still popular?
Or, I'll prove to you that you need not donate your time or money to this avian commercial machine. The Angry Birds Movie is as obvious and forced as people thought The LEGO Movie would be.
Anyway, uh, The Angry Birds Movie isn't very good. Somewhat surprisingly, it's not a total disaster; it hovers somewhere between "I'd like this if I was a small child" and "well, I don't hate this."
Truth be told, it would be enjoyable for kids. It's fast paced, frenetic, and in your face from start to finish: like a Spongebob Squarepants episode without the hidden adult wit. To all other normally functioning humans, the humor is offensively obvious. Most of the jokes are bird or pig puns. If not, they're childish body/toilet humor. On the off chance that the screenplay gifts us with even a slightly layered joke, it's keen to explain the hell out of it seconds later. Angry Birds resolutely refuses to give you a reason to think.
If you've seen any trailer for the movie, you'd know that the cast is full of talented actors. Too bad so many are squandered. Tituss Burgess- Titus of Kimmy Schmidt fame- has ONE LINE. Tony Hale- Buster from Arrested Development- says the same line three times. Jason Sudeikis is boring as the main bird, and only Josh Gad shines as the fast yellow one (about all the character quality you get).
Curiously, two time Oscar winner Sean Penn voices a bird that has zero lines. He only growls. Admittedly, knowing the growling bird was Sean Penn was by far the funniest part of the movie.
The animation suffers from a bit of plastic-y rendering, but the birds' faces and emotions are expressively crafted (they'd better be, the whole thing banks on them being angry). This makes the pigs look awkwardly fake by comparison though. The animators clearly weren't interested in putting an equal level of effort into the villains.
By far the most infuriating thing about Angry Birds is its soundtrack. It's the kind of movie that includes a cowboy dance scene solely because Blake Shelton wrote a song for the movie. It's crowded with unfitting pop songs that make the whole thing feel even more commercially manufactured. When Rick Astley invaded my ears, I assumed the film itself might be a prank.
Story and characters? Predictable and thin, but mildly fun. That could describe The Angry Birds Movie in total. It could be excused as "just a kids' movie", but that bar has been set high: when we have The LEGO Movie brimming with joyfully clever wit and Zootopia educating new generations on the intricacies of systemic racism, The Angry Birds Movie is comparatively inexcusable.