This 2019 Finnish-American computer-animated comedy, a sequel to 2016s ‘The Angry Birds Movie’ and based on the video game series, is directed by Thurop Van Orman. It features the voice talent of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Leslie Jones, Rachel Bloom, Bill Hader and Peter Dinklage.
For anyone who doesn’t know the concept of the popular Angry Birds game, it’s simple. You drag your finger across the screen on a huge catapult, loaded with a colourful bird with a unique power. Aim and let go. You launch 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 three lives and get points to eventually save your eggs that have been…egg-napped. Progress to next level and continue.
Back in 2016, Sony and Rovio teamed up to bring this game to life in glorious, vibrant CGI and grossed over $350m on a $73m budget. Not bad as far as video game adaptations go. It out-shone ‘Assassin’s Creed‘ and ‘Ratchet & Clank’ that same year. Now, it’s inevitable sequel time for another bout of family-friendly piggy-bird escapades.
You know the score by now with these animations, let alone adaptations. The narrative isn’t award winning and nothing is really new, but it’s the production, cast and humour that always defines a critical / audience success. Thankfully, all three are here in fine form.
With new cast members lending their voice talent to the roster including Leslie Jones, Rachel Bloom, Sterling K.Brown and Awkwafina, the plot is basic and simple. But it’s good fun. It brings our hapless birds, voiced by the likes of Jason Sudeikis as Red, Josh Gad as Chuck and Danny McBride as Bomb, together with the inept pigs led by Bill Hader as Leonard, They have the comic timing, edges of pathos and passion to bring these characters to life just as they did before.
This time it’s a battle to save Bird and Piggy island from Eagle island and the nefarious plans of vengeful eagle Zeta (Jones) and her bumbling guards who like to drink coffee, dance and sing ‘Baby Shark’ after a few pints. No, really.
Production wise, Angry Birds has always been about colour and slapstick, with the games always vibrant and bursting with life to appeal to young and old. While the movies are aimed at children, it’s no wonder the original was a big hit thanks to the slick and bright animation. There is so much detail and attention to bringing all characters to life no matter if they’re front and centre or in the background. Director Thurop Van Orman knows what makes this franchise a winner and continues to use these elements whilst adding in new ideas for story and characters.
Many of the characters here such as Red, Mighty Eagle and Leonard all have sentimental journey’s to take – as is the way with kids films promoting morals and social behaviour – but it all ties up well and continues from the first film without feeling shoe-horned in or random additions.
Humour wise, you’ll find yourself chuckling along on your own or with your children as they giggle and laugh at Bomb eating pig-snot, Leonard in a pink thong or the Flash-esque antics of Chuck zipping around the place causing comical chaos as our “mighty” heroes travel across the islands to prevent their annihilation!
You also get the tick-box soundtrack of classic one hit wonders for the birds and pings to dance/sing along to such as ‘I’m Too Sexy’, ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ and ‘The Final Countdown’. Without these random but annoyingly amusing musical skits, it wouldn’t BE a non-Pixar animated kids film would it.
‘The Angry Birds Movie 2’ sticks to the genre and the source material, but adds plenty of new faces, new voices and new gross-out comedy for all audiences to enjoy. It leaps from the screen with vibrancy, heart and colour – everything you need to keep the children (or yourself!) amused for a good 90mins.
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