The Angry Birds Movie 2

 

star



A superfluous sequel adds insult to injury with a series of moronic sketches that leads 

nowhere.

 
Angry Birds Movie 2
 

The title doesn’t bode well. However, the global popularity of the Angry Birds brand is such that commercial forces will make a fool out of sound judgement – or, at the very least, artistic integrity. To even try to make sense of this brainless, ramshackle cash-in is a self-defeating exercise. For a start, the angry birds are neither angry nor birds. They are a chirpy lot of critters who, at the start, are seen soaring across a cloudless sky. But, as soon as the plot demands it, they are deprived of their capacity for flight and subjected to a series of gravity-defying stunts that a mere flutter of their wings would have saved them from. So, they’re not really birds. Presumably, the filmmakers hope that its intended audience have less than two synapses to rub together and will be seduced by the slapstick and bright colours.

 

A sequel to The Angry Birds Movie (2016), itself a spin-off of the Finnish video game, the new film reminds us that the avian (?) inhabitants of Bird Island are arch nemeses of the mean green porkers of Piggy Island. They routinely trade projectiles with each other, by means of giant catapults, but are unaware that there is a third land equidistant to their own. And this, in spite of the advanced technology available to them. Mobile phones, CCTV, computers and even drones are the order of the day, while the sequel’s sop at female empowerment is supplied by Silver (Rachel Bloom), a new chick on the block who’s described as an “engineering wizard.” She certainly comes in handy when the birds and pigs are suddenly bombarded by giant balls of ice from the neighbouring Eagle Island. Things get even more out of hand when the Eagle Empress Zeta (Leslie Jones) injects the ice balls with molten lava, leading to catastrophic destruction. In the words of head pig Leonard (Bill Hader), “we’re gonna need a bigger slingshot.”

 

Of course, the ensuing plot is superfluous, as it’s just an excuse to ply us with a series of animated skits with little narrative logic. Thus, when Silver suggests that they need to revert to ‘Plan X’, Leonard says “I thought you said spandex!” and next we see him sporting an inappropriately tight spangly pink leotard. And with a stream of old pop numbers slotted in for comic effect, the cartoon resembles a K-tel greatest hits album with pigs.

 

Besides the slapdashery of it all, there is a deeper, more worrying aspect of the film. Arriving with a U certificate (for “very mild bad language, rude humour and threat"), The Angry Birds Movie 2 glorifies in violent imagery, a bird mimicking a stream of urine, homes being incinerated and a reference to a “butt shot” during a PowerPoint display. Of course, it’s only a cartoon, but by serving up such material in a light-hearted way, it is validating it to very young, impressionable brains.

 

Improbable as it seems, the film makes the lamentable The Queen’s Corgi look like Lady and the Tramp.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Voices of  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, Maya Rudolph, Dove Cameron, JoJo Siwa, Brooklynn Prince, Genesis Tennon, Anthony Padilla, Faith Urban, Sunday Urban, Alma Varsano, Tony Hale, Nicki Minaj.

 

Dir Thurop Van Orman, Pro John Cohen, Screenplay Peter Ackerman, Eyal Podell and Jonathon E. Stewart, Ph Simon Dunsdon, Pro Des Pete Oswald, Ed Kent Beyda and Ally Garrett, Music Heitor Pereira.

 

Columbia Pictures/Rovio Animation/Sony Pictures Animation-Sony Pictures.

96 mins. USA/Finland. 2019. Rel: 2 August 2019. Cert. U.