The Angry Birds Movie

by Greg Vellante

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday May 20, 2016

'The Angry Birds Movie'
'The Angry Birds Movie'  

Industry trends have led us here. For years now, the box office has been flooded with big budget spectacles of comic book characters and household names. The mainstream loves what they already know. So, it's no surprise that we now have producers investing $80 million into an animated film based on an iPhone game that people play while they're sitting on the toilet.

"The Angry Birds Movie" is a profoundly disposable and harmless entertainment, so light and inconsequential that it barely exists. It utilizes brand familiarity, bright colors, rapidly-paced antics and ADHD-akin storytelling to effortlessly suck in its intended audience: A generation of screen-addicted children constantly handed iPhones by crappy parents who couldn't bother to raise the kids themselves.

The punishment of these aforementioned parents will justly be having to endure this fluffy fodder with their kids in tow. In order to get to the gratuitously on-the-nose third act where, yes, angry birds fly through the air via slingshot in order to destroy a city of egg-stealing green pigs, we must slog through over an hour of narrative sludge where an entire backstory is written to justify the actions of an app requiring the back-and-forth motion of a single finger.

We're given a collection of heroes and villains with all-star voices -- birds Red (Jason Sudeikis), Chuck (Josh Gad) and Bomb (Danny McBride), along with pigs Leonard (Bill Hader) and Ross (Tony Hale) -- occupying the runtime with padded plot, potty humor and puns (though I'd be remiss to mention that I did guffaw obnoxiously at a pig with the name of Jon Ham).

Additionally, there must be an all-too-unsubtle undertone of acceptance and friendship and whatnot, because you can't have a minute-long joke about a urinary stream in a family film without throwing a kid-appropriate message into the mix as well.

Speaking of the young ones, there are also two bird-themed replacements of the F-bomb within the dialogue, "Pluck you" and "You've got to be flocking kidding me." Parents will have to judge for themselves whether they want their kids repeating lines like these every day for the next six months.

Technically, this isn't the worst 3D animation to grace the screen in recent years, but its blocky shapes, flashy colors and overall crude style is certainly for a lesser animated taste. There are a handful of clever sights gags and sly edits, but ultimately, "Angry Birds" exists as a vessel that is at once busy and empty. It's a film for people who will see it solely because they recognize the title. What else is there to say? You will get exactly what you pay for, and what you're paying for is more movies exactly like this in the future.

"The Angry Birds Movie" is a brand, not a film. Those seeking original ideas need not apply.