Oh man, like everyone else, when this movie was announced, I rolled my eyes. I mean, jeez, the animated shorts on Netflix are pretty enjoyable in their own right, but that’s why they work: they’re shorts. Ten minutes long each. That’s nothing. But a whole ninety minute film? Er…good luck, guys. But I won’t lie, that first teaser had me going. Red kicking the little blue bird into the ocean, that was hilarious. It seemed promising enough I guess. But then the trailer came around and now the skepticism came right on back. The gross out humor that I dread in any movie I see. My greatest hope was that this movie wouldn’t hinge on it too much. But here we go, kids. This is my honest opinion of THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE.
Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) is a bird with anger issues. This lands him into an anger management class headed by Matilda (voiced by Maya Rudolph), alongside fellow trouble birds, the speed crazy Chuck (voiced by Josh Gad), the literally explosive Bomb (voiced by Danny McBride), and the incredibly intimidating Terence (voiced by Sean Penn). But before long, the birds are paid a visit by some mysterious visitors. Green pigs, led by Leonard (Bill Hader), that Red thinks are suspicious. But the rest of the birds are just so excited to have visitors with gifts, they are completely enamored by them. But the longer the pigs stay, the more Red realizes that the pigs are after the birds’ unhatched eggs. In an attempt to get some help, Red, Chuck, and Bomb march their way to the Mighty Eagle (voiced by Peter Dinklage), a legendary hero of the birds and aide them in stopping the pigs.
About the biggest offender for me the movie commits is, you guessed it, gross-out and immature humor. Yeah, the Mighty Eagle’s “fountain of wisdom” scene is still as… ew, as the trailer made it out to be. There’s a lot of gratuitous pig-fanny shots, and of course, the really bad puns. “Pluck my life.” Wow. Talk about desperate. I’m honestly not going to talk about this too much. Most everyone knows about my hatred for gross-out and immature humor in movies, it anchors it down, moving on.
I do want to talk about the good elements, however.
First of all, Dinklage as the Mighty Eagle is a pretty fun character. Idolized for being the only bird that can fly on their little island of paradise, but it’s revealed that he’s just a washed-up, self-centered loser and his prime is well behind him. Maybe it’s just me, but I felt like Dinklage was having a lot of fun with this role, especially considering his last voice acting gig in the video game DESTINY was somewhat criticized for being too uninterested. Never played the game myself, but I saw a few clips online to see where everyone’s coming from. Personally, I think it was simply a bad character or poor direction given to him considering how fun he is in this movie. In any case, thumbs up to the Dinklage.
But my absolute favorite character is Terence, who’s a thousand kinds of amazing. I love his “You are beneath me, tiny worm” look that he gives to Red every few scenes, as well as that growling of his. Pitch perfect as far as comedy is concerned. I do have to ask the obvious question though… Penn was called in to literally just grunt? I mean, you could probably hire any professional voice actor and get the same result… or any member of the crew working on the movie and net the same result. But whatever, Terence is awesome.
And now there’s Red. I remember reading another review some time ago that the review stated that the character wasn’t likable because his reasons for being angry aren’t explored in the movie. I’m actually going to defend Red and say that there is. Early on in the movie Red is shown to have grown up an orphan as well as being teased for having thick eyebrows. I can see that making someone grow up having a cynical attitude toward the world and others. And it’s not like the people he gets frustrated with don’t deserve it. I don’t think his actions are beyond the realm of believability. And he’s not a bad guy either, he’s just a guy who wants to be accepted.
I think the best the movie offers is the climax and the ending. Yeah, even though it takes that long to get there, the fast-paced action and war-like feel to it gives it some incredible fun.
But more than that, there’s some pretty legit moments as well.
While we do get the cliche fake-out of the main hero maybe dying after going to back to save the one egg the birds left behind, it’s actually a pretty sweet moment to see him picking up the egg from the rubble to reveal three little baby birds and returns them to the parents. The expressions, the score, the voice acting all accumulated to a tender moment.
And it’s taken to another level in the very next scene. In the beginning, it’s shown that Red lives in a house he built that’s isolated from the rest of the bird community. When the pigs arrived, they destroyed his home with their ship like the jerks they are. Because Red was the one who uncovered the pigs’ diabolical plot, but was dismissed by everyone, the rest of the birds show their appreciation for his help by rebuilding his house… within their community. This was even made more powerful when all the eggs that the birds rescued hatched and all the little birds got together to sing their gratitude for him. I’m sitting in my seat going, “Awww!” after that.
Yeah, the movie isn’t anything amazing, and the many bad jokes and immature humor does severely hurt the flick, but the epic climax and the heartwarming ending makes the movie pretty worth it. I saw it once, I’m happy that I saw it, but I think that’s about it for me. I think kids will enjoy it. It’s got really good animation and bright colors, so it’s visually pleasing, so I say it’s worth checking out if you’re interested, but it’s not the kids movie for the ages.
My honest rating: 3/5