Angry Birds Reviewed
There was a lot working against Angry Birds the movie. For starters, I can’t think of a good movie that was adapted from a video game. Sure I enjoyed Mortal Kombat, but that doesn't mean it was good. The fact that this is the first movie based on a smartphone game lowers the bar even further.
But there wasn't a lot of source material to work with— after all Angry Birds doesn't have a linear narrative; it's a puzzle game. So screenwriter Jo Vitti had to come up with an original story as to why these two animals don't like each other and what makes these birds so angry. If you stop and think about the story at all it goes to some pretty dark places, with sinister schemes and total war repercussions, but the movie is brightly lit and no one dies so we can all still laugh about it. On the other hand, the Lego people had arguably even less to work with and they made one of the best kids’ movies of the past decade.
I also liked all the voice actors. It helps when you have genuinely funny people in kids’ movies. Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, and Danny McBride take the three lead birds, but the movie also co-stars Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Maya Rudolph, and Sean Penn in a role you won't recognize him in. Sudeikis has been in a lot of R-rated comedies recently where he relies on a dry delivery; that works for adults but I don't remember kids laughing at many of his jokes. The little boys in the audience will probably enjoy the voice work of Josh Gad, who was previously Frozen’s Olaf. But really all the voice actors are colorful and help keep the movie afloat.
I have to imagine that if they were able to get this movie out a couple years ago, there would have been even more buzz. Interest in the game is dwindling, but I know a lot of kids that still prefer this app to playing outside—my cousin (maybe say how old he is?) was quite flummoxed as to why I did not have Angry Birds on my phone. He will probably like this movie. As for me and the kid crawling under the seats, I imagine we can find another way to entertain ourselves. C-