“The Angry Birds Movie 2” (2019)

Animation

Directed by: Thurop Van Orman

Written by: Peter Ackerman, Eyal Podell and Jonathon E. Stewart

Featuring the voices of:  Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Tony Hale, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Leslie Jones, Rachel Bloom, Awkwafina, Sterling K. Brown, Eugenio Derbez, JoJo Siwa and Brooklynn Prince

Leonard: “We’re going to need a bigger slingshot.”

Released recently on Blu-ray/DVD is the animated video game adaptation “The Angry Birds Movie 2” (2019), the sequel to the box office hit from a few years ago, “The Angry Birds” (2015) which featured an all star voice cast and of course a plot built around birds, some angry and a lot of pigs. It is fair to say that the popularity of the game has waned in the intervening years so a sequel at this stage would either be a way to invigorate some life into it, or at the very least to spin off the property into a different direction, I might think it is a little late for the latter, however.

Three years after Red became the hero of Bird Island, he now runs a business protecting it smoothly with Chuck and Bomb. They and the rest of the birds and pigs are in a constant prank war against each other after Piggy Island, which was destroyed in a prior battle with the birds, is rebuilt. Eventually, a giant ice ball from a nearby isle called Eagle Island hits the sea near Piggy Island, forcing the pigs to seek an emergency truce with the birds. Zeta, the leader of Eagle Island, is fed up with her frozen surroundings and wants to occupy the two islands by shooting ice balls from an advanced super-weapon to force their inhabitants to evacuate.

The question is does this movie serve any purpose other than ticking off the required need for Sony to have an animated movie on the schedule. Well it does not stack up against some of the greatest animated movies, but as a video game adaptation aimed at children it holds its own with little to dislike but at the same time little for it to be remembered for.

Jason Sudeikis returns as Red, the bird who saved all the other birds at the end of the first movie. Red’s puffed-up hero persona is a bandage on his lifelong fear of rejection, a neurosis that also makes it impossible for him to work with others without steamrolling his way into a leadership position. He eventually has to learn to put his ego aside and let other people have their turn in the spotlight, a theme that runs through most kids’ movies. There are also an alarming number of romances as well as jokes that are all aimed at what is going on today, or at least what was happening a few years ago when this movie was being written and produced, so there is a ‘baby shark’ number as well as other elements that feel like this movie will date it ourself of being able to be rewatched.

“The Angry Birds Movie 2” has been directed by newcomer (to directing anyway) Thurop Van Orman who created the Nickelodeon series “The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack” (2008-2010), who has obviously at least viewed the first movie and toned down some of the elements that have become tiresome in movies for a young audience, so there are fewer allow motion action scenes, the humour is a little goofy and there are nods to the outside world and manic action scenes which he has executed very well.

This really is a movie that could be considered for all ages and does what the best animated films do best that is make a movie based around some of the issues of being a child and how this can have repercussions in later life. How you can be different and try not to let that effect you by separating you from others, yet missing the involvement of people in your lie.

The film is extremely fast paced and of course saves the best for last with the attack on the pig city straight out of the game. I have to admit to playing the game but not for years, and it made me want to download the latest game and have a crack. It was a strange feeling recognizing certain birds and their abilities and looking forward to how the filmmakers were going to make it look on the big screen – and it doesn’t disppoint. My favorite was the bird that farted explosives – so childish and yet so funny.

There is so much going on the film has to be experienced and I am sure your child will thank you for it.

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