Angry Birds (2016) by The Critical Movie Critics

Movie Review: Angry Birds (2016)

No one has been a bigger critic of films based on video games than this author, but on the other hand, no one is as appreciative of a decent product than him, as well. And while Angry Birds (directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly, both longtime graphic artists, but each making their directorial debuts) is abound with simple animation work, it nevertheless brings an exciting vibrancy and utilizes a sharp script written by Jon Vitti (“The Simpsons Movie” and some of the best episodes of “The Office” TV series) to bring a satisfying animated feature to the screen.

It’s no “Zootopia,” but it’s certainly more interesting and endearing that the recent “Ratchet & Clank,” for whatever that’s worth.

Here, direct from the Rovio Mobile video game, the action takes place on the cleverly named “Bird Island,” a bizarro world with more than a passing homage to our own various communities, a loner cardinal named Red (voice of Jason Sudeikis, “Horrible Bosses 2”) with Groucho Marx eyebrows has anger issues (thus the name of the film, I suppose) and everyone in town knows it. After a funny opening where he plays a clown who ruins a child’s birthday party, the birdsfolk have finally tired of him (as anyone would be) and the local owl magistrate, Judge Peckinpah (voice of Keegan-Michael Key, “Keanu”) sentences him to anger management class. But before one can say Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler, Red meets two other morons in the same bad mood boat; the speed addict Chuck (voice of Josh Gad, one of the many nerds in “Pixels”) and the explosive Bomb (voice of Danny McBride, “Rock the Kasbah”). Among them there is also a huge patient named Terence (a silent Sean Penn, “The Gunman”).

While engaging in a series of exercises designed to lessen their annoyance (taught by Matilda [voice of Maya Rudolph, “Bridesmaids”] and doesn’t work), a ship arrives from faraway “Piggy Island” (at first I thought this was where the kids from “Lord Of the Flies” ended up) led by King Leonard (voice of Bill Hader, “Trainwreck”) who begins to dazzle the wide-eyed, slack-jawed flightless inhabitants with a series of barbecues, hoedowns and pyrotechnic displays (just think a combination Bernie Sanders/Donald Trump rally).

This, of course, is just a diversion as the porkers really only want to steal the birds’ eggs, which they do and then skedaddle back to their lair. Seeking the island’s “protector,” the Mighty Eagle (voice of Peter Dinklage, “The Boss,” but better know for “Game Of Thrones” TV series), the three figure hero worship will not save the day, so Red plans an invasion of the pig world with the help of every underdog film cliché in history.

Do they get their offspring back? Well, you will have to see for yourselves, but Angry Birds keeps the pace up nicely in its 97-minute running time, and peppers the script with enough cultural references and one-liners to keep mom and dad occupied while the little ones can groove on the goofy characters and brightly-hued technicolor emanating from the screen. Beware, however, as some of the jokes will fly right over many heads while others land clearly in the off-color section, and some of the scenes might be a bit intense amidst all of the silliness.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
3 Star Rating: Average


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The Critical Movie Critics

I have been a movie fan for most of my life and a film critic since 1986 (my first published review was for "Platoon"). Since that time I have written for several news and entertainment publications in California, Utah and Idaho. Big fan of the Academy Awards - but wish it would go back to the five-minute dinner it was in May, 1929. A former member of the San Diego Film Critics Society and current co-host of "The Movie Guys," each Sunday afternoon on KOGO AM 600 in San Diego with Kevin Finnerty.

'Movie Review: Angry Birds (2016)' have 6 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 24, 2016 @ 10:19 pm amallright

    Angry Birds is an awful movie. Gags fall flat, voice acting is terrible (Josh Gad, Jason Sudeikis, really?) and the animation while colorful is boring. I can’t believe it took years for Rovio to make what looks like was put together in a week.

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 24, 2016 @ 10:41 pm semi-tractor-trailer

    10 years too late. Kids these days don’t even know what the Angry Birds game is.

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      May 25, 2016 @ 2:59 pm obit_peruser

      That’s the point. This movie introduces Angry Birds to them.

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 24, 2016 @ 11:08 pm Nume

    This guy must be a fan of the app cos that’s the only explanation for liking the movie even a little bit

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 25, 2016 @ 12:35 am Organism 5

    I wonder if anyone made the connection that Red is Trump and the piggies are Muslims…

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 25, 2016 @ 3:03 am Kitt

    Anyone bothering to see this must have their lives run by their children.

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