A feathery sequel is made only for kids with a lot of sugar energy.
For those of you unfamiliar with the “Angry Birds” game, the green pigs stole the birds’ eggs; so they have to slingshot themselves to destroy the pigs, and each type of bird possesses a unique ability. I haven’t played the iPhone game in a long time, but my personal favorite birds are the black bird, which is a bomb, the white bird, which drops egg bombs, and the big red bird, which destroys anything in his path.
And so far, because of the worldwide phenomenon, Sony Pictures Animation has released two movies, both of which has everyone talking-with voices from Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, and Peter Dinklage, among others-but they both never seem to take risks in the video game world, the ways “Wreck-it Ralph” or “The Lego Movie” did.
They’re more like CGI characters-not live-action Smurfs, but characters in a cartoon. In fact, that’s what this franchise is. A cartoon.
This 3-year-old sequel moves so fast, it didn’t really feel like I was watching a movie at all. It’s more like a short film. Then again, this is based on a video game about fast birds. It should appease families, especially the little tykes in the audience, but unless you’re outside the targeted group, it’s more of a movie you’d watch at home, instead of a theater.
The plot now involves an anti-Elsa eagle named Zeta (voiced by SNL’s Leslie Jones), who is at her wits end with her frozen tundra life, and decides to wreak havoc on both Bird Island and Piggy Island. So, like the American and Russians in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” the birds and pigs have to join forces. At least, there’s no generic bickering, unlike “Hobbs & Shaw.”
The reason I liked the first “Angry Birds Movie” is because of Sudeikis’ fun voice work of Red, the angriest bird on Bird Island. He was charming in a PG “We’re the Millers” sort of way. In the sequel, he still has the goods, as he begins to worry about his heroic fame being at risk, because of how the pigs call a truce, in order to stop Zeta.
His story of struggling to still be the hero is formulaic, but at least, he has a love interest-Silver (voiced by Rachel Bloom from TV’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), the smartypants sister of his speedy friend Chuck (voiced by Gad). I liked the chemistry between Red and Silver, and the directions they head in.
There’s also a cute subplot, involving three hatchings loosing three eggs. So, they travel by sea, through space, and on different islands in order to retrieve them. And the main bird is voiced by Brooklyn Prince from “The Florida Project,” so in a way, it matches the tone-minus the R-rating.
“The Angry Birds Movie 2” mostly has talented voice actors, a few tickles in my funny bone, and a flexible style of animation-more attractive than the “Hotel Transylvania” sequels. You also have Sterling K. Brown, Awkwafina, Tiffany Haddish, Eugenio Derbez, and Lil Rel Howery in the cast. But the movie is so short, that everything basically gets crammed in, and relies on the animation and comedy to keep things rolling along.
Even Hader as the pig leader Leonard, and Dinklage as the Mighty Eagle both sound like they’re overacting, and that left me feeling exhausted.
I liked half the movie for being fun on its own terms, but it shouldn’t eat too much candy. Sugar rush.
Opens Everywhere August 14