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Film review: The Angry Birds Movie – mobile game hatches madcap animated feature

Throwaway gags and puns and insane action underscore first-time directors’ fun adaptation of the hugely popular app

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 May, 2016, 8:01am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 May, 2016, 12:41pm

3/5 stars

The Angry Birds Movie was never going to be a cerebral masterpiece. Based on Finnish developers Rovio’s addictive mobile video game, which consists primarily of catapulting flightless birds into fortresses of scheming pigs, this 3D animated feature by first-time directors Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly is nevertheless more entertaining than a superfluous game-to-film adaptation has any right to be.

It’s about loneliness, rejection and resentment – to a degree. Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) is the cranky bird with enormous eyebrows. Sentenced by a court to anger management sessions after yet another outburst, the unpopular Red is reluctantly introduced to three fellow outcasts: hyperactive Chuck (Josh Gad), explosive Bomb (Danny McBride) and growling Terence (Sean Penn).

Angry Birds creator Rovio bets on 3D movie to revive fortunes

When a shipload of green piggies – headed by Leonard (Bill Hader) – arrive on the avian island, Red is roundly rebuked for his sceptical attitude. His pilgrimage to former idol Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) also brings more disappointment than wisdom. After the pigs have made off with the birds’ eggs in order to eat them, however, Red suddenly finds purpose in his fury when he leads an all-out attack on the pigs’ island.

A frenetic kids’ film that is chock-full of madcap energy, throwaway sight gags and very silly puns, Angry Birds should most please those who are willing to relinquish their cynicism and go with the flow, especially towards the madly buoyant third act. Writer Jon Vitti (The Simpsons) deserves kudos for a screenplay that concocts a boisterous origin story from the featherlight premise.

The Angry Birds Movie opens on June 2

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