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Dan's Review: "Angry Birds" pretty much the same as the game

May 20, 2016 10:58AM ● Published by Dan Metcalf

Angry Birds - © 2015 Sony/Columbia/Rovio Animation

Angry Birds (Sony/Columbia)

Rated PG for rude humor and action.

Starring (voices of) Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Kate McKinnon, Sean Penn, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Blake Shelton, Noah Schnapp, Owen Wilder Vaccaro, Pierce Gagnon, Charli XCX, Anthony Padilla, Ian Hecox, Tituss Burgess, Billy Eichner, Hannibal Buress, Ike Barinholtz, Max Charles, Jillian Bell, Cristela Alonzo, Danielle Brooks, Romeo Santos.

Written by Jon Vitti, Mikael Hed, Mikko Pöllä and John Cohen.

Directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly.

GRADE: B-

REVIEW:

Movies based on video games rarely succeed, but that doesn’t stop studios from trying. To date, the highest grossing movie that was based on a video game is Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, which brought in a paltry $336 million. It also garnered a whopping 36 percent approval average from Rotten Tomatoes, which places it 3rd highest on the list of movies based on video games. This week, get the long awaited Angry Birds, which is one of the first movies based on a small format game (for hand-held devices) arrives in theaters.

Jason Sudeikis voices Red, a bird with bushy eyebrows that inclines everyone to think he’s grumpy. Over the years, he obliges their assumptions by exhibiting several bursts of anger. His outbursts eventually land him in a court-sanctioned anger management class, where his instructor Matilda (Maya Rudolph) uses her cheery method to help Red and other classmates deal with their rage issues. Joining Red are Chuck (Josh Gad), a hyperactive yellow bird, Bomb (Danny McBride), a large black bird prone to “explode” when agitated and Terrence (Sean Penn), a huge red bird that does nothing more than scowl and grunt.

One day, a boat carrying several annoying pigs arrives at Bird Island. At first, they seem overly friendly, but Red suspects they are up to no good. Convinced the pigs are planning something sinister, Red and his pals climb to the top of Bird Mountain, seeking help and advice from the reclusive Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), who broods over his fame since he’s the only bird who can actually fly on the island. From the top of the mountain, Red and his gang use Mighty’s binoculars to see that the pigs have stole all the birds’ eggs, which carry all their unborn offspring. The pigs take all the eggs to Pig Island where they intend to feast on them.

Driven by anger, Red leads a charge to Pig Island, where he uses a slingshot to fling himself and other birds at the culprits and try to rescue the eggs.

If you’ve played the game (which reached the height of its popularity more than 5 years ago), you get the basic idea: Slinging birds at rickety pig-built structures to get to the eggs. That’s basically the whole Angry Birds movie, with a little added commentary on the right time to get angry (saving the unborn children from greedy invaders). There’s also a little morality about tolerance toward folks who are not always cheery or look a little different.

Angry Birds has a few laughs and sight gags that will please kids, but there’s not much else there to keep adults entertained, even if you’ve beaten the video game.

That said, Angry Birds might be the most successful movie ever based on a video game, both in terms of critical acceptance and box office. Who knew flinging birds at pigs would capture the attention of so many people?


Angry Birds Trailer

Arts+Entertainment movies movie reviews Video Games
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