The “Video Game Adaptation” curse continues.
In the simplest of terms, The Angry Birds Movie sets out to tell the origin “story” of the popular Phone game. The basic premise is this: Green Pigs come, fool birds, steal eggs to eat, birds fight back. If you’ve played any Angry Birds you’ll almost certainly recognise that as the story told by the 10 second slideshow at the start of the game. What The Angry Birds Movie has done is taken a perfectly concise, and frankly unnecessary, 10 second slide show and turned it into a 97 minute animated feature film. It’s a plot that’s thinner than paper and less fun to watch.
This would be ok if the movie was funny. Unfortunately, over the course of an hour and a half, only a sparse handful of the movie’s jokes land, and even those are flatter than they should be. If you consider yourself a fan of the Angry Birds franchise then there some little character nods here and there that will bring a smile to your face but that’s about all the film can manage.
Of all the issues with this film the biggest are the main characters, the birds themselves. Rather than be an endearing, loveable trio these characters instead play off as a group of whiny, self obsessed, arseholes. And by the end of the movie they aren’t any more loveable or any more well rounded they’re just arseholes with a cause. There’s almost no character development for the main Bird-tagonists, their journey is basically meaningless. Ironically it’s the antagonists of the movie: the pigs, that offer the most on screen charisma although no single character is entirely likeable from start to finish.
Another sticking point for the movie is the cast. Their performances across the board are fine, but it’s the casting itself that boggles. Jason Sudekis imbues “main bird” Red with less personality than one of the planks he’s traditional flung at. He’s a two dimensional character whose unlikeable in almost every scenario the movie puts him in, even when he’s presented as “the good guy”. The only character that’s particularly memorable is Chuck and that’s for all the wrong reasons as Josh Gadd makes him relentlessly grating.
It must be said that the one strength the movie has is its visuals, the lighting is fantastic and the rendering of surfaces and textures is great. Water specifically is a high point of the animation, its behaviour is incredibly lifelike. However with visuals this well made it’s a shame the movie strays so far from the visuals of the actual games, this looks like a movie in which the birds are playing roles, picked from the game and dropped in to this, rather than an actual “Angry Birds Movie”.
Overall The Angry Birds Movie is beautiful, bland trash. It’s not funny, endearing or vaguely enjoyable in the slightest. If you have children interested in it they will probably love it, it’s full of dumb slapstick humour and beautiful animation. But otherwise this is a disposable waste of what could have been a decent video game adaptation. Oh well, there’s always Assassins Creed later this year……. Right?
The Angry Birds Movie scored: 1.4/10