“Angry Birds” takes the idea of the widely popular smartphone game and stretches it out in a slingshot, throwing it at the audience.
While it knocks them over with a few good jokes, it ends in a massive explosion.
The look of the characters, setting and materials is consistent with the Angry Birds app. While consistency is key and certainly wins big points for the transition to a movie, the latter needs more of a story and developed characters to successfully bridge the game-to-big-screen gap.
Bird Island is a bird utopia where everyone is friendly and happy. Well, almost everyone.
Red (Jason Sudeikis) is an angry bird; even the littlest things can set him off. This sends Red to anger-management class, where he meets Chuck (Josh Gad), a hyperactive, speedy bird, and Bomb (Danny McBride), a quiet bird with a tendency to explode — literally.
Things are peaceful on Bird Island, and Red is making zero progress in his class when a group of green piggies led by Leonard (Bill Hader) starts to invade the island and give the birds lavish gifts and parties. Behind all the piggy pageantry, Red suspects something more sinister is at play. But everyone is too busy having a good time with the pigs to listen to the advice of the ill-tempered outcast. So Red, with the help of Chuck and Bomb, sets out to discover and stop the evil plan.
The characters are fun and likable, especially our three main heroes, who add plenty of humor and sarcasm to the script. Red, Chuck and Bomb are enjoyable to hang out with, and you see their friendship growing as they bicker back and forth.
Sudeikis, Gad and McBride truly help make the movie work, but it works more for the adults in the audience than the kids. The cartoons and slapstick humor will entertain the kids, but the majority of jokes will soar over their heads and hit the adults right in the funny bone. Most of the laughter during the film came from those who brought kids rather than the kids themselves.
Even at only 97 minutes, “Angry Birds” feels far too long. It takes too long getting to the part of the story with slingshots and trampolines and knocking down pig-made structures. But then again, when the action finally cuts to the chase, watching birds blow up buildings isn’t as exciting as you’d think.
“Angry Birds” has some hits that land right on target, such as the humor of the film — as long as you’re older than 12. But there are far more misses in terms of story-telling, which makes “Angry Birds” a bomb.