HOLLYWOOD—A few years ago a game grew in its level of popularity on people’s phone, not to mention on countless iPods and iPads. For those of you still trying to pinpoint precisely what I’m talking about, I’m referring to Angry Birds. Yes, that popular game has been transformed into a movie on the big screen amply titled “The Angry Birds Movie.”
I went into the theater with the lowest expectations possible for this movie. Why? I had no idea how a popular video game would be manifested into a long form narrative that would actually keep the kids and adults entertained for at least 90 minutes. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the narrative and character development in this movie that is paced perfectly in my opinion.
The premise follows Red (voice of Jason Sudeikis) who is a bird unlike any other. He has major eyebrows that seem to grab the attention of everyone he knows. What’s worse: he has a very difficult time biting his tongue! Unlike most of his other comrades, Red, when pushed to the limit blurts out a ton of amenities which undoubtedly gets him in trouble time and time again.
I think the movie is set-up great with its opening sequence, which finds Red traveling like the speed of light to get to a kid’s birthday party before it’s too late. Upon arrival the parents aren’t too pleased which leads to an all-out shout match where hence the title, Red’s anger gets the best of him causing a vital moment for the parents of most birds to be taken away.
So how is he punished, he is forced to take anger management classes. It is there that he meets his over-the-top, but hilarious teacher Matilda (voice of Maya Rudolph), and a bunch of kooky characters including Chuck (voice of Josh Gad), Bomb (voice of Danny McBride) and Terence (voice of Sean Penn).
What totally flew over my head the first half of the movie is the fact that on Bird Island, NONE of the birds are capable of flying. I was so sutured into the flick I didn’t realize that until it was pinpointed by the character. “The Angry Birds Movie” does a well job of inside jokes between the birds, not to mention clever gags through visuals to grab the attention of the kids.
Most of that innuendo can be attributed to a bunch of pigs that mysteriously arrive on Bird Island courtesy of Leonard (voice of Bill Hader). Something nefarious is going on and only Red seems to spot it, so when chaos erupts, it’s up to Red, Chuck, Bomb and the rest of the inhabitants of Bird Island to go from nice birds to angry birds in order to prevent an absolute travesty from taking place.
Is “The Angry Birds Movie” the best animated flick I’ve seen of all-time no? However, it does deliver that ubiquitous message that it’s okay to be different; embrace that difference and those flaws that one may have because in the long run they can be detrimental for averting a crisis, but also helping one to overcome a great fear: confidence.
Our main character might appear big and tough, but deep inside as the movie progresses we see that he is dealing with a lot of heartache, which equates back to his childhood. As he grows, he begins to bond with others and he starts to realize shutting out the world is not the key to living a happy life. Quite a message I’d say, sprinkled with a ton of laughs (hey Chuck I’m pointing my finger at you) makes “The Angry Birds Movie” one fun ride.