Are you up for a challenge? Here we go: name me 3 things that pop into your mind in 5 seconds, when I mention these. Red bird and green piggies. Go.
Wait. I think I have some supernatural ability to predict your answers. Are they.. Angry Birds, Angry Birds, and, Angry Birds? See. If you have a different answer, do put them in the comments below. I would love to hear them.
Here lies another problem. Angry Birds, as a game, is almost universally recognized. As colorful birds, a slingshot, and taunting piggies, waiting to be destroyed. That doesn’t sound like a good movie, does it?
The Angry Birds Movie that came out in 2016 surprised me a little, because, despite being a film fully built on the fragile plane of a game app, it offers a healthy amount of cinematic values to the audience. But still, I feel that the whole movie was invisibly chained by the piggies-deceive-birdies, birdies-catapulted-themselves-in-revenge framework. Well, no producer will ever sign-off a scientifically and historically backed up story-line surrounding the birds or the green pigs, correct? The world loves Angry Birds as a simple game it is, and for its first feature film, it made an awful lot of sense not to go crazy with the story.
That said, I firmly believe that given the moderate success that the first film had, The Angry Birds Movie 2 can now span its wings and be more creative with the story. The film paved way for the directorial debut of long time cartoonist Thurop Van Orman, and spots a lengthy list of reprising voice cast from the original movie. In this installment, flightless birds Red (Jason Sudeikis), Chuck (Josh Gad) and Bomb (Danny McBride) unwillingly becomes frenemies with the leader of the pigs, King Leonard (Bill Hader) as a new threat engulfs both Bird and Pig Island.
To start it off, The Angry Birds Movie 2 maintains a certain peculiarity which the first movie had shown. The visual aspect of the film is undoubtedly shaped to cater towards, you guessed it, children of all ages who are more likely to glue their eyes on their phones with the Angry Birds game open. Wait long enough, and you will find classics like Eye of the Tiger and The Final Countdown playing to your ears. The musical blend certainly made me feel that the film dates back way before its 2019 year of release, and the weight of the accompanying scores gives a much better bombast to whatever funny tricks that the characters are trying to pull off. Parents dig the vintage vibe. Kids love the slapstick comedy. Win-win.
Putting both aspects together is a plot which needs to transcend across a wide age-gap, which I think is a mixed bag. Really. As I have mentioned, with the first film out of the way, the second film can now go bonkers with their plot or approach, that it’s getting harder to judge what’s coming and what’s not. You definitely get the variety here, as evidenced by the subplots of the bird hatchlings and the mockery of the history between Mighty Eagle and the villain.
On their own, each puzzle piece of the plot is definitely diverse. When the story is focusing on the hatchlings, things can get pretty juvenile real fast. Think YouTube Kids, for a quick reference. Yet, the older crowd will probably appreciate and giggle at the story that revolves around Mighty Eagle and his old-fashioned, golden-age era. Elsewhere, the happenings within Red and his team will probably resonate well with young adults. It’s probably Jack of all trades, but sadly, Jack did not tie together all of his crafts well enough.
That’s because, between the dynamically changing climate of the scenes, there isn’t a good plot coherence to let everything flow smoothly. It seems like the main focus of the subplots are generally well thought over, and the main story is a by-product. But I think that is still fine. I don’t expect an app-based movie to have a prolonged build-up, explosive climax and tearful aftermath anyway.
To top it off, I can easily name a few highlights of the film which have taken me for a ride, and I still can’t get enough of them. The most joyous of all, is no doubt the comical approach of most scenes. If an MVP does exist in The Angry Birds Movie 2, it has to go to the way the film made me laugh on so many unforeseen occasions. They were unforeseen because the funny moments were:
- flawlessly executed, and
- too stupid to barely see it coming
There’s literally a scene where it’s painfully obvious that Bomb will give out a big-ass explosion, but what instantly ensues is a different thing altogether. Smart joke? Nope, it is not. It is a dumb joke configured in a genius way.
Amidst all the foolishness and naivety which Red and team are parading on-screen, I was constantly taunted by the pigs and the (smaller) birds. Not by any act of hostility, but an overload of cuteness. The nudity of the pigs are dirty yet so blunt. The peskiness of the hatchlings are annoying yet so adorable. They are enough to fill whatever void that is left in-between the comedic routines, perhaps with the exclusion of a prolonged scene in the second act, when Red (and the plot) is struggling to reach the enemy and come into good terms with his inner self.
Which brings me to the third aspect of the movie that I am in love with : the running time. At 96 minutes long, The Angry Birds Movie 2 is one of the very few films which I feel that the length is just nice. It might appear a little lean on paper, but in actuality, the plot is not rushed to reach a premature end, nor it is weighed down by overextended scenes. Even when the event of the story is not at its best, the scenes will either be tickling, charming, annoying you.
Between the cool and adorable piggy-tech stuff and the overblown, juvenile plot, The Angry Birds Movie 2 still feels very much like a game. A super-cute, super pesky and super charming one, that is. You don’t expect a world class plot brewing in it, but you just can’t deny that it gives you loads of (chucklesome) fun.—The Film Addict