The Angry Birds Movie 2, 2019.
Directed by Thurop Van Orman.
Featuring the voice talents of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Sterling K. Brown, Leslie Jones, Awkwafina, Rachel Bloom, Zach Woods, Eugenio Derbez, Brooklynn Prince, LilRel Howery, Dove Cameron, Beck Bennett, Nicki Minaj, JoJo Siwa, David Dobrik, Colleen Ballinger, Pete Davidson, Tiffany Haddish, Maya Rudolph, Anthony Padilla, and Tony Hale.
The flightless birds and scheming green pigs take their feud to the next level.
With a plot that feels like priced extra downloadable content rather than a sequel, The Angry Birds Movie 2 has arrived, now with a rehaul of the filmmaking team yet still is painful to sit through. The back half of the movie sees the team of birds (now aided by their arch-nemesis pigs joining forces to tackle a new threat from a new island) pulling off a special mission to stop a secret weapon from destroying Bird Island, which sounds fine on paper but in practice panders to the lowest common denominator in regards to talking animal animated features. There is singing, silly wardrobes, dancing, and lackluster action all set to song after song of music. Every 30 seconds there’s another needle drop as if the only way director Thurop Van Orman knows how to make a movie is by implementing licensed tracks ad nauseam.
The impressive voiceover cast returns with even more notable names to expand the roster of island defenders (each with their own unique talent mimicking the play styles of the mobile tower defense mobile game) along with an attempt at a narrative containing themes of egoism and relationship dynamics that falls flat on its face. Without spoiling too much, The Angry Birds Movie 2 takes its eagle villain (voiced by Leslie Jones) stuck on a snow fortress area and gives her the nefarious motives of a jilted ex-lover. A brainiac girl is also added to the team of heroes (Rachel Bloom), also existing as a love interest for Red (Jason Sudeikis) and lowbrow comedy gags involving Josh Gad’s Chuck as her brother trying to protect her from romance. It’s as annoying as it sounds.
Red is up in a panic his heroic duties might no longer be needed now that Bird Island and Piggy Island are under a truce, so he basically springs into action upon learning that threats are still out there. No longer lonely after the events of the first film, it’s understandable that he would want to stay in the spotlight as much as possible to avoid the old times returning, and his antics to maintain the center of attention are amusing. They are some of the only jokes that work in terms of humor and context. Even during the ending, which is naturally predictable seeing as this is a children’s movie, there is the anticipation to see Red do the right thing, but the adventure there is filled with awful comedy and misguided writing for its female characters. Above all else, the film moves at such a rapid pace that this somehow has the opposite effect of being engaging; mids will wander off into nothingness.
Elsewhere is a completely pointless subplot involving hatchlings that is so detached from the rest of the narrative that there’s no other way to interpret it other than superfluous nonsense meant to inflate the running time up to 90 minutes (alongside an animated short playing before the actual movie that is actually quite good). Their unborn siblings have gotten away from them due to their own negligence, triggering a sequence of events that are never entertaining for the distraction they are supposed to be. During the climax, they are worked into the final showdown as a fairly lazy attempt to tie things together and pretend it all mattered.
There are bits and pieces that do work (Peter Dinklage returns as the leader fearless eagle making the most of bad material, especially during a hilarious flashback to whatever the 1990s were like for birds), mainly coming down to listening to the voice actors do their thing. It’s daunting looking at the entire cost list for The Angry Birds Movie 2, and I actually do get the appeal of taking a role like this beyond money. What’s most frustrating is that, according to popular critical opinion, these are the best video game adaptations. It’s easy to translate to another medium and kids will absolutely enjoy watching birds and pigs settle scores with one another, but that doesn’t make it good.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Flickering Myth Reviews Editor. Check here for new reviews, friend me on Facebook, follow my Twitter or Letterboxd, check out my personal non-Flickering Myth affiliated Patreon, or email me at MetalGearSolid719@gmail.com