Hot Take: At least your typical, useless kid’s fare has a good message. The Angry Birds Movie promotes xenophobic beliefs, validation of the distrust of foreigners and the message that anger is sometimes the answer. Is this a kid’s movie or a Trump campaign ad?
On wonderfully colorful Bird Island, Red (Jason Sudeikis) is an outcast thanks to his big eyebrows and short temper. Everyone on Bird Island is blissfully happy except for Red. Even at his anger management class (the worst punishment by law on Bird Island), his contemporaries aren’t really angry as Chuck (Josh Gad) is speedily mischievous, Bomb (Danny McBride) is unpredictably explosive and Terence (Sean Penn), well, I don’t really know what Terence did to end up in anger management class other than grunt a lot.
When Leonard (Bill Hader) arrives from Piggy Island, no one heeds Red’s warnings about being concerned about the strange arrival of a boatload of pigs. Despite numerous signs of trouble (there’s a hoard of pigs hiding in the boat Leonard arrives in, for one example) and Red’s repeated concerns, the flightless birds of Bird Island welcome the pigs into their world. When the pigs inevitably cross the birds by stealing their eggs, the island turns to Red for help and the app we’ve all lost countless hours playing comes to life on the big screen.
This all sounds better than it actually is, even if it sounds awful to you because it’s worse than awful. The unnecessary app to movie adaption is ripe with poor messages for an under 12 audience and painful to watch for anyone over the age of 12. Basically, the moral of The Angry Birds Movie is you shouldn’t trust strangers from another land but if you do and they violate that trust, you should get really pissed off, destroy everything they own and stop at nothing until you get back what they took from you. Apparently, the film was inspired by the 2016 Republican primary.
There are very few moments of entertainment in The Angry Birds Movie. The animation is well done. It’s bright and there’s lots of noise. The cast is loaded with recognizable voice talent which at least makes things interesting with the introduction of each new character. The Angry Birds Movie doesn’t offer much more than that, unfortunately. Even last year’s Hotel Transylvania 2 had more to offer than this insult to the average moviegoer’s intelligence. If you have children with designs on making you suffer through this, I feel for you. Then again, you were the one who let them have your phone to play the app in the first place.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- The Search for Mighty Eagle
At some point in the film, the threesome of Red, Chuck and Bomb look for Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) and the montage is actually entertaining.
- Sean Penn as Terence
Penn’s Terence spends most of his time grunting and groaning but, for some reason, even the grunts and groans from Penn are well performed.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- The Plot
Unless the point is to make the audience angry for wasting money on tickets, the plot is a bust.
- The Moral Compass
In addition to the plot, the morals of the story are insulting and actually kind of dangerous if you give it any real thought.
- Wait? So, the Bird We’re Supposed to Be Rooting For Has Basically Been an Asshole His Whole Life?
Red is given a backstory here and it looks like he’s generally grumpy and mean spirited because they made fun of his eyebrows when he was a kid. Why are Chuck and Bomb so desperate to be his friend? F*** this movie!