REVIEW: The Angry Birds Movie (2016)

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2016, Sony Pictures Animation/Columbia Pictures/Rovio Animation

Directors:
Clay Kaytis
Fergal Reilly
Producers:
John Cohen
Catherine Wilder
Writers:
John Cohen (story)
Mikael Hed (story)
Mikko Polla (story)
Jon Vitti (screenplay)
Editing:
Kent Beyda

Cast:
Jason Sudeikis (Red)
Josh Gad (Chuck)
Danny McBride (Bomb)
Maya Rudolph (Matilda)
Bill Hader (Leonard)
Sean Penn (Terence)
Peter Dinklage (Mighty Eagle)
Keegan-Michael Key (Judge Peckinpah)
Kate McKinnon (Stella/Eva)
Tony Hale (Ross/Cyrus/The Mime)

The hit game comes to life in this hilarious animated film and it is hilarious thanks to the really funny ensemble cast.

Red is one angry bird. Living on an island with other flightless birds, he has been summoned to anger management when he wrecks a “hatch-day” party. The problem is that Red has always been an outsider, ridiculed because of his eyebrows and constant mockery. He never felt like he belonged. At anger management, he meets the speedster Chuck and the literally explosive Bomb. The island unexpectedly gets a visit from a pig named Leonard, who offers friendship, but Red suspects something is up, yet no one will believe him.

When Leonard and his pig brigade set up a massive party for the birds, it is actually a distraction for the pigs to steal the precious eggs of the birds. When Red, Chuck, and Bomb discover the ruse, their futile attempt to stop the pigs prove a failure. When the birds finally realize Red is right, they see him as the one who can hatch a plan to rescue the eggs from the evil pigs. Red can only think of the one weapon that could make this mission a success: anger.

When the Rovio game was released, it was a hit with fans. The objective of the game was simple: take out the egg-stealing pigs using birds with different powers hoisted onto a slingshot and flung at the pigs. Simple right? So would it be possible to make this a feature film? Rovio thought so and after some preliminary artwork in 2014, we have come to this and is it worth the wait? The answer is a resounding “yes”.
The credit for expanding on the story goes to producer John Cohen and game founders Mikael Hed (the founder of Rovio) and Mikko Polla. Hiring The Simpsons’ Jon Vitti to write the screenplay was pure genius to bring some hilarious comic relief as long as the right cast comes along and it is the cast that truly becomes the film’s driving force.

Jason Sudeikis is funny when he goes into angry mode as Red, who just seems like an outsider even though he is in the same species as the other birds. Josh Gad once again shows why he is one of the funniest actors today with his portrayal of the speedy yellow bird Chuck. Every yelp, fast talking, and antics Chuck does is hilarious to watch while Danny McBride goes to goofy sidekick level as Bomb, who only explodes in his moments of anger or surprises. One of the funniest non-verbal performances goes to Sean Penn as Terence, who just grunts throughout the entire film no matter the mood.

Bill Hader gives Leonard a funny entrance as seen in the trailer and does quite well as pig leader Leonard. Keegan-Michael Key is hilarious as Judge Peckinpah (a nod to the famous filmmaker), who is not exactly how he appears to be at first sight. The stamp in terms of hilarity goes to Peter Dinklage, whose character the Mighty Eagle brings us an introduction that has to be seen to be believed and as the film continues, he just gets quite funnier and funnier. Kate McKinnon and Tony Hale voice multiple supporting characters while Maya Rudolph still proves her comic wit in the role of anger management teacher Matilda.

All in all, The Angry Birds Movie is a fun and hilarious expansion in terms of story in this adaptation of the game, all driven by a very funny comedic ensemble. Definitely check this out if you are a fan of the game.

WFG RATING: A

The film is currently playing in theaters. Check your local theater for showtimes.

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