By Cynthia Ayala
Find out why the birds are so angry. When an island populated by happy, flightless birds is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to three unlikely outcasts – Red, Chuck and Bomb – to figure out what the pigs are up to.
Okay, let’s be honest here: no one expects Angry Birds to be good, after all, it’s based off a game where you throw birds into pigs because they are stealing eggs. But guess what, this movie was actually incredibly entertaining, and much like with Warcraft, the writers were able to put together a strong story and strong characters based on a mobile game that had very little of both.
First, let’s go back to the story. Has anyone seen V: The Original Miniseries from the 80’s that was horribly rebooted by ABC a few years back? Angry Birds is basically V only for children. Right down to the piggy’s being green and resembling aliens. It’s a great story to adapt to a younger audience and it worked very well for this film given the conditions of the game, allowing for a richer and easier adaptation. More importantly, it means that there is an actual story to follow here about invaders coming with promises of great things but secretly plotting something awful.
With that, there was room for the writers to subtly bring in many teaching moments, the strongest lesson is being “stranger danger”. No one is suspicious about these pigs at all, and while it is good to be accepting and welcoming, there should always be a level of suspicion when it comes to things that may seem too good to be true, and when it comes to strangers promising and offering goodies, kids especially should be wary and careful. That is what the film is trying to get at on some degree. Maybe it was intentional on the writers part, maybe not, there were plenty of ways the writers could have gone about it, but they chose this way, which was an excellent way because this is a movie targeted at the family audience, an audience filled with children, and they be aware of the “stranger danger” concept.
There is also a lesson here about controlling one’s anger. Children are prone to outbursts, that’s just how they are, but this film offers a lesson about controlling anger and not letting it control you. I’m someone who is prone to some outbursts so even that lesson applies to me, that anger can push people away, and children especially let their anger get the better of them which leads to unfortunate outcomes. Kids get into fights, but fighting isn’t always the answer. There is also the lesson of not being a push over and fighting for what it right. It’s never okay to bully, but it’s kind of okay to beat up a bully when they are bullying.
This film offers a lot to the audience and is more thoughtful than it looks at first glance. It’s a film with promise, a film with a story that teaches its viewers important lessons, as long as they know where to look. (★★★☆☆ | B+)
Directed by Clay Kaytis & Fergal Reilly
Screenplay by Jon Vitti
Story by John Cohen, Mikael Hed & Mikko Pöllä
Based on Angry Birds by Rovio Entertainment
Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Sean Penn, Keegan-Michael Key, Kate McKinnon, Tony Hale & Hannibal Buress
Rating | Length | Genre: PG | 1 hr 37 min | Animation, Action, Comedy
Distributed by Columbia Pictures