Francesca Rudkin is an entertainment reviewer for NZ Herald.

Movie review: The Angry Birds Movie

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Red (Jason Sudeikis) enjoys lunch alone in the park in Columbia Pictures and Rovio Animation's The Angry Bird Movie. Photo / Rovio Animation
Red (Jason Sudeikis) enjoys lunch alone in the park in Columbia Pictures and Rovio Animation's The Angry Bird Movie. Photo / Rovio Animation

The Angry Birds Movie exists because the video game franchise has been a phenomenal success since its release in 2010.

A film about flightless birds attacked by country music loving pigs who steal their eggs, only for the birds to steal them back by catapulting over Piggy Island, seems a stretch.

Three billion downloads of various Angry Birds games later, it sounds like a reasonable idea.

Chuck (Josh Gad) and Red (Jason Sudeikis) on the beach in Columbia Pictures and Rovio Animation's The Angry Bird movie. Photo / Rovio Animation
Chuck (Josh Gad) and Red (Jason Sudeikis) on the beach in Columbia Pictures and Rovio Animation's The Angry Bird movie. Photo / Rovio Animation

This vibrant animation has only a fraction more plot than its source material, and takes forever to get cracking, but there's some potential in this wacky idea.

It's fortunate the games are simple.

It has allowed screenwriter Jon Vitti (The Simpsons, SNL) and debut directors Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly to mould their own Angry Birds adventure.

They opted for a prequel; showing how these once happy birds were driven to embrace their inner anger.

Our unlikely hero Red (Jason Sudeikis) is a little bracing at first. A rude, abrasive loner going to anger management classes, living on a tropical island otherwise occupied by happy birds, Red meets a bunch of other misfits; Bomb, who explodes (literally), speedster Chuck and the growling Terence, all well-voiced by Danny McBride, Josh Gad and Sean Penn.

When suspiciously friendly pigs arrive on the island the nave locals welcome them into their community, but Red is concerned and turns to the island's fabled leader, the Mighty Eagle, for help.

As Bomb, Chuck and Red discover 80s-loving Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) might not be the saviour they'd hoped for, this film kicks into gear; the humour starts hitting the mark, the action speeds up and these feathered characters become likeable.

Anger is an unusual theme for a family animation, but then The Angry Birds Movie is as irreverent as a kids movie can get.

There's old school toilet humour and fart jokes and gags about social media and new age anger management methods, delivered with a healthy dose of sarcasm.

The animation is bright and bold and there's a range of upbeat musical numbers for all ages, from Rick Astley to Blake Shelton.

A collection of gags that come together in a feel good finale, rather than a cohesive story, The Angry Birds Movie still has its moments, some of which may have you chuckling for days.

Review: The Angry Birds Movie

Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Sean Penn Director: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly
Running Time: 97 mins
Rating: G
Verdict: Only fires up in the final act.

- TimeOut

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