It's not difficult to think of video game franchises more deserving of the feature film treatment than Angry Birds. After all, there's not much more to the plot of the games than pigs stealing eggs and birds understandably being angry about it. But perhaps that's why Angry Birds: The Movie kind of succeeds where many other video game adaptations have failed. There's not much there to begin with, so there's lots of freedom to carve out a story that works on its own.
The movie follows one angry bird in particular, Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis), who's forced to take anger management classes on account of his outbursts. You see on the island, the birds aren't very angry at all, and rage is generally frowned upon. The voice cast as a whole is excellent (Danny McBride, Peter Dinklage, and Sean Penn are in it to name a few standouts) and the movie offers visuals that rival those of Pixar and Dreamworks. The production is, simply put, on point.
Red is the only bird on the island to question the motives of the pigs who arrive on a ship. And eventually Red and his anger management classmates seek out the help of the great hero of yesteryear, the Eagle, who clearly isn't all he's cracked to be. Eventually, the story boils down to some action sequences that are inspired by the gameplay found in Rovio's popular mobile titles.
It is quite obvious that the movie aims to achieve what Pixar are masters at, namely to appeal to both children and their parents, and this is where things start to fall apart. It lands somewhere in the middle and it doesn't fully satisfy either group. It's overly predictable, and while we did chuckle at times, we couldn't help our minds from drifting as the predictable plot started to get going eventually.
Had it been funnier it would have been easier to overlook the paper thin plot, and compared to contemporary animated masterpieces the themes felt a bit shallow and simplistic. We're not saying that all animated feature films need to make us teary-eyed, but this just a little too shallow and clichéd.
It is great to see a video game franchise get the sort of treatment and budget that Angry Birds got in its transition to the silver screen, yet ultimately it fails to deliver a captivating experience over the course of 97 minutes.