For anyone who doesn’t know the concept of the Angry Birds mobile game, it’s simple. You drag your finger across a huge catapult, loaded with a colourful bird with a unique power, aim and let go, launching them towards a quirky fort/castle/hideout populated by green pigs. Hopefully your bird will hit the right part of the building to knock it down, squash all the pigs within 3 lives and get points to eventually save your eggs that have been…egg-napped. Progress to next level and continue
That’s it.
So, to make a 90min movie over a concept that requires two taps of the index finger and is the same idea over and over again is a brave move, but one not unexpected when something generates as much cash and global success as Rovio’s creation. Enter Sony and debut directors Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly with a host of talented voice actors and you have, in my honest opinion, a very amusing, daft, fun, simple and colourful kids caper.
I’ve been on the ‘Angry Birds’ ride for a few years now, playing the original games and even the Star Wars versions and dabbling in the go-kart racing. It’s all harmless and a nice way to waste time; this film is exactly the same and I expected nothing ground-breaking, and for that I really enjoyed it. I did. I admit it. I was chuckling away throughout.
It’s perfect for kiddies – it’s bright and colourful which is always pleasing on the eye and our population of birds and pigs is wonderfully imaginative; lots of characters popping up and things going on in their villages. There’s always something to chuckle at or see going on in the background. Lots of slow-motion prat-falls, slapstick falling, crashing, slapping, bashing, exploding, falling and chasing which, when you think, is the groundwork for the game itself. I’m not ashamed to admit I always find it funny with a slow-motion pratfall towards something dangerous and they cry out in that sloooooow exlcamationnnnnnn voiiiiiiice. As I say, it’s a kids film, not ‘Lawrence Of Arabia’.
None of the cast seemed to stand out more than the rest, and they created their birds/pigs as I would expect. Sudekis is dry and sarcastic as hero Red. Gad is zippy and energetic as Chuck. McBride is oafish and sweet as Bomb. Hader is slimy and sneaky as Leonard. With vibrant animation that leaps from the game to replicate our heroes and villains brilliantly, their personas are instantly recognisable and guaranteed to make you chuckle as they bounce off each other, sometimes literally.
It’s touching in places and very sweet with those baby birds popping up with their huge glassy eyes looking up at you yet there’s plenty of sly jokes for adults too, as is the way with these kids films, and the story is very simple. The first hour is exploring our characters, setting up the goodies and baddies and generally having fun. It’s the final 30mins that veers into real Angry Bird territory when the birds become angry and the catapult is brought out and the chaos begins to reclaim their eggs. We have an onslaught of quick fire comedy, amusing piggy planes v flying birds, mild suspense and more slapstick gags.
As I said before, if you know the Angry Birds game, you will know what to expect, but on a larger, grander and more explosive scale with far more amusing characters thrown into the mix. It’s silly fun, and to be honest, we all need some of that in our lives, so just…have fun and enjoy this bright and amusing romp without trying to make it deeper than it needs to.