The Angry Birds Movie 2
Though I’m not sure how many people still play the now decade-old puzzle game Angry Birds, the creators have somehow managed to make a serviceable animated comedy for kids out of the source material. You read that right: The Angry Birds Movie 2 is actually not terrible.
Before we get into what does and does not work, I have a confession: I didn’t see 2016’s first entry into the world of Angry Birds cinema. I won’t be able to speak to how one film compares to the other, due to my near-complete ignorance of both that movie and the game on which it’s based. I can tell you, however, that thanks to a simple plot, stereotypical characters, and ample flashbacks, I don’t feel like I was at a handicap.
Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) is in charge of Bird Island, and seems to be doing a fine job of keeping the peace. That is, if you can mostly ignore the ongoing prank war with nearby Pig Island. They slingshot things back and forth, trying to destroy stuff, but it’s mostly in good fun. When massive ice boulders start hitting both islands from another enemy, the pigs and birds must team up to fight whoever is trying to crush their homes to smithereens.
Behold, Eagle Island. Just out of sight, the eagle leader Zeta (Leslie Jones) wants to get rid of all the birds and pigs and take over the tropical locales for herself. Nothing quite like a common enemy to unite the little guys.
Inevitably, it turns out that everyone must learn a lesson to grow, be a better animal, and work together as a team. This simple, age-old plot mechanism for character arcs is used frequently in kids’ movies and it makes the structure of the film digestible and the moral accessible to the little ones in the audience. The movie is for them, after all, not for their parents.
Predictable plot aside, the jokes and action in The Angry Birds Movie 2 keep everything moving along pretty swiftly. It doesn’t hurt that every five to ten minutes there’s another pop music sequence, which makes the whole thing feel like more of a mixtape than a movie. Mind you, I’m not complaining. Fluffy entertainment has its place as long as it’s done well enough.
The Angry Birds Movie 2 is not concerned with animation innovation, groundbreaking characters, or telling a story that has never been told. It is, however, a fun movie for everyone in the family.