Cine Reviews: ‘The Angry Birds Movie’ (2016)

“When an island populated by happy, flightless birds is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to three unlikely outcasts – Red, Chuck and Bomb – to figure out what the pigs are up to.”

The Angry Birds Movie is a 2016 animated comedy based on the hit video game. Featuring the voice talents of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Peter Dinklage, Bill Hader, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell and Tituss Burgess among many others, the film is directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly from a screenplay by Jon Vitti (The Simpsons Movie).

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You would think that this excuse for a movie is just a huge consumerist act from the filmmakers for their own gain, and your take regarding that notion couldn’t really be wrong. The film looks like it is such, and as it moves along, you just can’t help but feel that there isn’t much to get your money’s worth. The story, while not entirely a mess, felt undeniably forced and unmistakably clichéd. While there isn’t much to tell, it somehow finds a way to make its plot interesting mostly because of its characters. When it felt like it was working for a short period, it’s as if the writers behind it worked its way to put in some effort albeit half-baked. Their efforts were quite appreciable though with what they were trying to do with its seemingly bland concept. In that, a few interesting points are made in the film, however it still is missing a huge sense of creativity if compared to other animated films based on toys/video games. Some of its jokes relies heavily on referencing other films so much better than it, but at certain times, it works just fine to fly a little higher over its trite sense of humor.

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They do nothing major to make the movie get on a higher level of inventiveness, but they are sufficient for those seeking some laughs out of it. What it benefits from the most would be its voice-cast who seemed to be doing a better job than the writers have done for the film’s narrative. These actors knew how to exert their energy into their characters and quite honestly, they are a perfect fit for their roles. Jason Sudeikis was quite enjoyable as Red. There isn’t any profundity in his voice-work whatsoever, but hearing his voice through Red makes him likable on a certain level. You don’t exactly build an emotional connection through him, but with his character, you are able to understand where the film is getting at with its message of unlikely heroism and belongingness. If only it had emphasized on that and not much on the comedic antics, then it would’ve created the impact that it evidently desired. But then again, there are still quite a handful of hindrances blocking the way in improving the film’s quality.

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A major flaw in its humor is the recycling of jokes that we’ve heard before countless times. Sure, that may be considerable, but with the film having such humor, you could tell how lazily and poorly it was written. Replacing its writers with better and more talented ones might have made room for vast improvement, and that should’ve been realized the moment before this was even made. Moreover, most of the times the jokes that it makes falls flat, not having any capacity to make you consistently laugh along with its humor. Partner that with the film’s pacing and a bigger problem for it to deal with is conceived in the process. Having a certain tediousness wasn’t really a stress for viewers to suffer through as it wasn’t too slow, but since it tends to have that, the narrative’s flow becomes a little baffling in terms of the story’s build-up. That and the lack of quality enjoyment makes the experience with the film a little boring if not, almost joyless. Thankfully though, there were still a few saving graces to keep it together from crumbling down to its huge failures.

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Now, get this: it’s not really trying to be like 2014’s surprise hit THE LEGO MOVIE per se but still, the filmmakers should’ve considered hiring creative noggins with such competition for inspiration. That being said, The Angry Birds Movie isn’t really a wasted potential nor a huge mess. It is indeed unnecessary, but it doesn’t fall down to its crumminess as hard you’d expect it to. However, saying that it is a bad movie is not much of an understatement either for what it has shown. Why, you may ask? The Angry Birds sits in mediocrity and it stays there, letting it become a movie just for cheap fun that lacks the heft of imagination that it should’ve considered using to lessen its bird-brained tastelessness.

Rating:

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* The Angry Birds Movie opens in Philippine cinemas nationwide on May 11 from Columbia Pictures Philippines. See it in 3D!


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