In a post-Battleship world, it seems no premise or product is too remote to base a film on. Step in Angry Birds, the mobile game that was the saviour of long commutes everywhere when it burst on to the scene in 2009. The spin-off movie was met with incredulity but hopes have quietly risen given the involvement the creative team behind the Ice Age films and a talented voice cast.
Set on an island populated by flightless birds, Jason Sudeikis provides the voice of Red, whose temper problems have forced him into anger management classes. His fiery disposition turns him into an unlikely hero, however, when an army of pigs come to the island and steal all the eggs.
As plots go, it's no Hamlet, or even a Kung Fu Panda 3. But an awareness of its own limitations makes it rather charming. There's little mawkishness, no heavy-handed morals, no five minute music numbers. Instead, we are treated to a colourful, fast paced gag fest that never saw a pun or pratfall it didn't like. It's not moving, but there's no denying it's an agreeable 90 minutes.
Modifying his sarcastic live action persona from films such as Horrible Bosses, Sudeikis fits into the lead well by making Red irate but relatable. He's helped by his fellow cast members Danny McBride, having a blast as a character named Bomb; and Frozen star Josh Gad, once again proving himself voiceover gold as the excitable Chuck. The big name additions are hit and miss – Peter Dinklage is alright as the elusive Mighty Eagle, but Sean Penn providing the “voice” of Terence (a character who only grunts) is just plain silly.
Animation rival Pixar may produce beautiful, epic, heart-wrenching classics, but there's still space for something that's just plain fun. Kids will love it, no doubt propelling these birds into a not entirely undeserved sequel.
Dir. Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly | ★★★☆☆