The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)
SHOULD I SEE IT?
Manic, hyperkinetic, and occasionally quite funny, more madness from Angry Birds Movie 2.
Part of the fun of watching these movies is getting the sense that the cast are having a ball performing their voiceover, none more so here probably than Leslie Jones.
Hair Love. Matthew Cherry’s opening short film is beautifully made, detailing an African-American dad needing to do his daughter’s hair for a very important excursion. Seeing this 5-minute short film is pretty much worth the time spent in the theater..
As much as I praise the energy, I could also see this movie wearing people out quickly. This thing is a lot.
I will say, this feels more inclined to be a television series on a streaming platform somewhere. The movie plays somewhat episodic and less like a movie.
I liked this movie and even I am wondering, “Why?”
No one asked for a sequel to 2016’s The Angry Birds Movie, but when you bank $350 million worldwide, more than five times your budget on the film, it makes sense that studios would come sniffing around, seeing if there’s any money left to mine from a franchise that has generated billions of downloads since its debut as a video game in 2009.
And so, yes…we now have The Angry Birds Movie 2.
Slingshotting birds at pigs and buildings, attempting to destroy the infrastructure built by swine just trying to survive - it all continues as the initial premise in this sequel. However, the slingshots and bird-bombs firing back and forth come to an almost literal crashing halt when ice bombs start raining down on both Bird Island and Pig Island.
With attacks coming from a new entity, a truce is called by Leonard (Bill Hader), the leader of Piggy Island, and Red (Jason Sudeikis), the de facto leader of Bird Island. Together, they agree to fight a common enemy. The attacks are orchestrated by Zeta (Leslie Jones), a different kind of “angry bird” from the float-up landmass known as Eagle Island. Done with an island of ice and cold, she seizes the opportunity to try and bomb away the nearby birds and pigs, hoping to re-establish herself a new home full of sunshine, breeze, and all the wonderful wants of a perfect life.
Of course, Red, his hyper-speed bird buddy Chuck (Josh Gad) and Leonard summon the troops. The Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) joins them, and a firehose-level stream of jokes, sight gags, visual puns, and frenetic editing and pacing caterwaul us through the ensuing 90 minutes or so. My guess is that first-time director Thurop Van Orman never gets overstimulated or tired, based on this final product.
The animation replicates much of the vivid tones and color blasts common with the first film. The veritable who’s-who of cameos and voiceover talent is impressive, making this feel like a much bigger movie event than people may anticipate. Everyone brings their biggest and loudest voices to their work, and the movie never lacks for a sense of excitement and enthusiasm.
It is, however, a lot. Like a lot a lot.
The Angry Birds Movie 2 seems ready, willing, and able to try anything for a laugh, within a PG-friendly environment. We’ve got pop culture jokes for kids, pop culture jokes for parents, dozens of songs, a montage or two, smash-cuts into jokes, cutaways, extended gags. The movie really never stops.
In a cute, if not slightly odd little subplot, three hatchlings fumble around with unhatched eggs, finding them form an unlikely alliance with three piglets, largely voiced by the children of entertainment A-listers, including Viola Davis, Gal Gadot, and Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban.
One inspired sequence, involving a ridiculous eagle costume and a secret spy mission to infiltrate Eagle Island, keeps things engaging in the middle of the film. If you can handle all the “noise” this movie generates, The Angry Birds Movie 2 is harmless, with some laugh-out-loud moments, entertaining enough to make the time spent worthwhile.
NOTE: One of the best animated short films of the decade, the beautiful and sublime Hair Love is opening in front of screenings of The Angry Birds Movie 2. Adapted from Matthew A. Cherry’s best-selling novel, the film tells the story of an African-American father needing to help his young daughter get her hair ready for a very important family trip. Wonderful and endearing in every way. Come for Hair Love, stay for The Angry Birds Movie 2.
CAST & CREW
Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Leslie Jones, Bill Hader, Rachel Bloom, Awkwafina, Sterling K. Brown, Eugenio Derbez, Tiffany Haddish, Danny McBride, Peter Dinklage, Pete Davidson, Zach Woods, Dove Cameron, Maya Rudolph, JoJo Siwa, Tony Hale, LIl Rel Howery, Nicki Minaj, Beck Bennett, Gaten Matarazzo, Brooklynn Prince, Genesis Tennon, Alma Varsano, Faith Margaret Kidman-Urban, Sunday Rose Kidman-Urban, David Dobrik, Mason Ramsey.
Director: Thurop Van Olman
Written by: Eyal Podell, Jonathon E. Stewart (writers); Peter Ackerman (screenplay)
Release Date: August 14, 2019