Angry Birds – the smash hit computer game franchise – takes to the big screen with the new release from Columbia, directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly.
The basis of the game would see various skilled birds being launched at the defences of green pigs that had stolen the eggs of the birds. The basis of the film doesnt wildly shift from this idea at all.
Red (voiced by Jason Sudekis) is a bird on remote island with severe anger issues. Sentenced to anger management classes after an incident with an irate ‘hatchday party’ customer, Red finds himself in the company of Chuck (Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride) and Terence (Sean Penn). The three are called into action when a ship of green pigs, including their leader Leonard (Bill Hader) arrive on the island with mysterious intentions that play out requiring the birds to unite.
The film works hard to keep your intention with regular bursts of well known pop songs, and humour that works for both adults and children. Its a transition to cinema that is faithful to the game (which I suppose with the modern era of animation lining to CGI is a lot easier than in the past), but lacks punch of the output that, for example, the main Pixar films have delivered over the years.
Its enjoyable enough and the comic talents of Sudekis and Hader especially keep the laughs coming through the film. The screenplay is by Jon Vitti who has written a number episodes of The Simpsons, and Larry Sanders which adds to the film’s humour credentials.
As I sat watching it, I did consider the series of ‘computer games turned into films’ which is littered with failures. In that context, it may actually be one of the best ever transitions, albeit that says more about the other films than this.
It does leave you wanting to play the game again as well…