********* 5 out of 10 *********
Director: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly
Actors: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Bill Hader
Having a mobile application as the source material for a movie is unheard of. But if the app has been as popular as the game called Angry Birds, then there is no harm in trying, right? Well, no harm only as long as the creators understand that movies are a different medium altogether which need to be approached with a different mindset. The Finnish company Rovio Entertainment, who made the mobile app and also produced the movie in collaboration with Sony Pictures Imageworks, do make a sincere effort in giving The Angry Birds Movie a theme which can act as a foundation. The problem lies in the complexity of the theme or rather the lack of it. The story is too straightforward, more akin to a TV movie, and the lack of depth makes the whole thing look like a drag.
The movie’s main protagonist is Red, a grumpy angry bird who has been sent to anger management class where he meets the likes of Chuck and Bomb who have issues of their own. The characters in themselves are enjoyable to watch, each having its own distinctive personality, and in a better movie, the trio would have had far more memorable adventures. In The Angry Birds Movie, we instead have the Pigs arriving at the Bird Island, with their leader Leonard claiming that they come in peace. Well, you don’t have to be Sherlock to figure out that the Pigs have some ulterior motive and once they show their true colours, a battle will be waged in which the slingshot will be used so that the angry birds can fly. Aaargh, so predictable!
There is quite a bit of humour in the movie, and of course, lot of bright colours which the younger audience may enjoy. But the inexperience of directors Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly is quite evident to see in the way they fail to explore their key characters and thus are not able to build anything solid which can help us connect with them. There is hardly any moment that will give you the goosebumps, that will tug at your heart, that will make you throw your fists in the air in delight. The animation work in itself is nicely done by Sony, without which the movie may have been unbearable to watch. The voice actors are another strong point for the movie. Jason Sudeikis does a perfect grumpy version of Red, while the likes of Josh Gad as Chuck and Danny McBride as Bomb add more flavours to the tone of the film. Maya Rudolph is brilliant as Matilda, Bill Hader is a bundle of fun as the pig Leonard, and Peter Dinklage makes the Mighty Eagle a character worthy of its name. Why Sean Penn was cast as the big red bird Terence, who hardly has any line, is a mystery to me.
The Angry Birds Movie is nowhere close to the quality of movies in the animation business that we are privileged enough to see nowadays. I do not doubt the sincerity of the studio, but its lack of experience in making movies has hurt this film. Animation movies are not the domain of five and six-year olds anymore; they are being consumed by people from all age groups and so they need to be far more engrossing in their stories than what The Angry Birds Movie could manage. Pixar will be coming out with Finding Dory soon, and maybe from there a few lessons could be learnt!