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The Angry Birds Movie 2 – Movie Review

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The Angry Birds Movie 2 – Movie Review

Rating: B (Good)

Trailer/Thumbnail Courtesy Sony Pictures

When the Angry Birds mobile game first leaped onto screens three years ago, the result was mildly amusing, but didn’t exactly inspire more than hearty chuckles. It was a curious diversion that might have been too tied down by trying to incorporate all of the familiar game elements. With the set-up out of the way, the filmmakers behind the sequel take the opportunity to have the battling birds and pigs participate in all sorts of inspired comic scenarios. Director Thurop Van Orman and the team at Sony Pictures Animation have come up with all sorts of funny gags and set-pieces as the characters embark on a heist.

The best way to describe The Angry Birds Movie 2 is “Mission: Impossible with birds.” Part of the fun of this movie is seeing our main characters formulate their plan to stop the leader of Eagle Island and attempting to execute it. Most of the movie is spent on seeing the many trials and mistakes that come from achieving this goal. Van Orman brings a wonderful energy to the film and never lets us forget what’s at stake. However, in between the fast-paced comedy scenes are moments that allow us to see the more vulnerable side of characters like Red and the Mighty Eagle.

What The Angry Birds Movie 2 also does with ease is jump between the protagonists during the heist. Whether we’re following Red and the intelligent engineer bird Silver or Leonard the Pig, there’s never a point where it feels we could be somewhere else. A visual gag involving a fake eagle disguise especially gives the animators a lot of room to have fun and leads to some of the biggest laughs in the movie. Van Orman even uses music cues in an inspired way. Other movies filling the soundtrack with ‘80s tunes and current pop hits would have looked pandering, but Van Orman somehow makes their inclusion work.

At first, a subplot involving a trio of toddler birds seemed unneeded in light of the larger story going on. However, even those portions take some hilarious and unexpected directions, thus earning the right to stay in the picture. The stronger script this go around also means the voice cast is given more opportunities to be funny, although the stand-out ends up being new addition Rachel Bloom. Her role as Silver, the speedy canary Chuck’s sister, is quite a sizable role and her quick delivery is a perfect match for this hyper-intelligent bird. Awkwafina also gets some humourous little asides as Leonard’s sidekick.

The first Angry Birds Movie was heavily reliant on bird and pig puns and while a few still pop up in the sequel, the filmmakers are more interested in showing the capabilities of animation to push comedy to hilarious and wild heights. The plot of The Angry Birds Movie 2 is hardly groundbreaking, but does allow Van Orman and his team the opportunity to create one imaginative scene after another. The first movie curiously didn’t have Sony’s animation division listed as a producer, despite the involvement of their visual effects department. Sony Pictures Animation is credited on the sequel and their influence is felt a lot more here as the ingredients that helped make Hotel Transylvania and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs into laugh-filled comedies are evident.

Stefan Ellison
THE SCENE

Stefan Ellison