Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride
Director: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly
Running Time: 97 mins
The Angry Birds Movie is an American film about a group of birds with anger issues amidst a world of happy birds who become the unlikely leaders against the unnerving arrival of a society of highly intelligent pigs.
I was pleasantly surprised by this film. Knowing the torrid success rate of video game movies in Hollywood, I wasn’t expecting anything from a movie based on an app, but I was glad to see that The Angry Birds Movie is a well-directed and enjoyable watch. It’s not riotously funny, but it’s pleasant, family-friendly, and doesn’t stick too much to the game’s premise, giving it a lot more freedom, which was good to see.
Let’s start with what I liked most about this movie, the animation. It’s not Pixar-levels of quality, but it’s got a goofy-looking vibe that fits in well with the rest of the film. The main characters look exactly like toys for merchandising, but the variety of characters that you get to see in this film gives it a great vibrancy, and adds hugely to the entertainment value of the movie.
Along with the animation, directors Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly do a great job at helping the film be as enjoyable and pleasant as it can be. With such low expectations going into this film, I was ready to be bored, so it’s a real testament to the directors’ success at making this a likable movie that I came out the other side with a smile on my face.
It is a kids’ film, don’t forget that, but it’s got a good enough sense of humour to steer clear of only toilet jokes and the like, even adding a good few laughs for the adults too. I’m not going to say that The Angry Birds Movie is a hilarious piece of comedy, because it isn’t, but the comedy is always light and silly enough to leave you perfectly content, and likely give the kids a good laugh or two, which is big praise as far as most family comedies go.
In terms of the performances, they’re pretty good too. Jason Sudeikis is the stand-out in the lead role, playing the temperamental main character excellently, whilst his co-stars Josh Gad and Danny McBride do a good job too, although a lot of their characters’ comedy is far more recycled than Sudeikis’. Also, there’s a good variety of supporting voice roles, from the likes of Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon and Keegan-Michael Key, adding even more to the film’s impressive vibrancy.
If there is one place where the film does fall down, then it’s the story. Although just as pleasant and enjoyable as the rest of the film in the first act, when we start to see the conflict between the birds and the pigs erupt, and the film moves a lot closer to the game’s premise, I started to lose interest. Previously, we’d had a lot of insight into our main character, and it had made for good laughs and an engaging watch, but when the film takes a far more generic route to the finish, it’s just not so entertaining.
Overall, I was surprised at how much I liked The Angry Birds Movie. It’s not a work of genius, but against my hugely low expectations, it’s a success. With fun comedy, animation and voicework, along with a vibrant and pleasant atmosphere, the film almost always had me with a smile on my face, and that’s why it gets a 7.2 from me.