This one's worth skipping.

This one’s worth skipping.

angry boidie

What adventures await.

Didn't really go "weee".

Didn’t really go “weee”.

Question 1: What did you people think was going to happen? Was anyone in their quasi-right mind under an even slight impression that this, an animated comedy based on the one-dimensional main characters of an overhyped iPad application would be worth a ticket fee of any size? Is anyone anywhere remotely shocked by the magnitude of unfavorable reviews presently being published for The Angry Birds Movie? How does one NOT recognize this as a stupid idea?

I cannot answer any of that, I regretlessly admit, but I’d imagine people who are that poor of taste are also the reason there’s an Emoji movie in the works at the time of this writing. Thanks, everyone. No, really, thanks. Animated movies are much better now. Charles-Émile Reynaud would be proud.

I don’t know that Angry Birds is still a game that people play but Hollywood sure released its film adaptation in 2016 all the same, starring such prodigious vocal talents as Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Kate McKinnon and Sean Penn. I may have mixed up “talented voice actors” with “actors whose names look good in marketing” in that last sentence but never you mind. It also features Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla of Smosh fame so there are far more stupid decisions to worry about.

The plot is like something out of a YouTube parody trailer for “the next film version of a video game that was never meant to really be a film”; except, you know, it’s an actual movie that exists. On a tropical island where colorful birds reign supreme, one named Red (Sudeikis) recounts the time when he joined forces with fellow outcasts Chuck and Bomb (Gad and McBride) to save their home from a mysterious collection of green egg-thieving pig-like creatures. I should point out that Red meets his two new friends in an anger management class,  as it supports my theory that this screenplay was based on a joke that someone somewhere didn’t get was a joke.

When hogs arrive.

When hogs arrive.

The leader of the evil piggies is voiced by Bill Hader and later we hear Peter Dinklage as a mighty eagle named Mighty Eagle. Even someone as no-nonsense as Hannibal Buress can be heard (in a bit part), confirming that nobody in this business is safe from dumb, loud and meaningless kid’s movies.

A more expected guest appearance is that of Charli XCX, who also has a song on the soundtrack alongside Rick Astley‘s “Never Gonna Give You Up” and Scorpions’ “Rock You Like A Hurricane”. I suppose it is all as per the usual drill. If all other comedy fails (which is often the case in The Angry Birds Movie), just throw in some random music that people in the audience will recognize. I don’t know why yet but it’s a thing comedies do. It’s a few steps above employing Seltzer-Friedberg-level pop culture references as a last resort. So there’s that.

This is, for all its worth, a pretty film to look at, primarily in terms of color schemes and scenery. Sony Pictures Imageworks, who provided the film’s visuals, surely did a better animation job here than in, say, The Smurfs. Not a difficult film to outclass, I know, but still.

The movie itself was handled by Rovio Entertainment themselves, so I guess we can at least rest assured  that nobody’s work is being misrepresented or tainted. Although I don’t exactly feel uncomfortable asserting that a film like this is less about the vision and more about the cash flow. With the amount of oversaturation these agitated fowl get in terms of marketing, I don’t doubt that these characters have potential to be the new Minions, where their popularity reaches a point where people put unrelated images of them next to wannabe-meaningful quotes (with at least two words spelled wrong) to get more hits on their Facebook pages from impressionable idiots and out-of-touch aunts. Paradigm shifts – they’re exciting.

NOTE: In the opening paragraph, I may have made it seem as though the film is getting Pixels-level bad reviews after only having been out a short while. It’s nowhere near that bad, but it’s not the next Wreck-It Ralph either.

NOTE 2: I’m not sure if this was intended, but if you interpret the film as an allegory for immigration, with the colors of Germany looking to the glorious USA (Mighty Eagle) for aid against unwelcome immigrants, it becomes equal parts funnier and scarier.

2/5 whatever