Turning video games into movies is always an interesting concept. Clearly the movie makers are trying to cash in on the game's success, but that doesn't always mean the movie itself is going to be as good.
Angry Birds, the game, first appeared in 2009 and within a year had sold over 12 million copies. I doubt the movie, released in May 2016, will ever come remotely close to that level of success.
The plot goes like this: a group of generally happy but flightless birds live on an isolated island. There are a few outsiders including Red with an anger management problem, Chuck who speeds and lies, and Bomb who has explosive gas. One day a large ship with pigs arrive, and while most of the birds accept them with open wings, only Red suspects anything is amiss.
I have never played Angry Birds so I can't tell you if the movie plot is remotely like the game, but as far as the movie is concerned it is probably one for the kids only. While there were definitely a few laugh out loud moments, as an adult I found it tiresome a lot of the time and the whole movie was unsatisfying. Not awful, just nowhere as clever as some of the other recent family releases. And as usual, all the best bits are shown in the previews and trailers anyway.
Most of the funniest moments are directed at adults and can be a bit difficult to explain to kids if they ask why you're laughing [50 Shades of Grey, The Shining]. For example, there are plenty of gay dance club references and more than one scene where a character is shaking their booty in some bottom-less leather chaps. Luckily most of this type of humour will go straight over the heads of the youngest kids, who just love bottom shaking and toilet humour in general.
One of the major issues I had was with the notion that the pigs had come along to steal the birds' eggs. Not the stealing as such, but the fact that the pigs wanted to turn the eggs into omelettes. Yet the birds kept referring to the eggs as their 'kids' and when you see them hatch, they contain baby birds, not yolks. This is more than just an issue of semantics – this is, quite literally – the birds and the bees, and any child who likes to help out in the kitchen could find the egg/yolk/baby mess a bit confusing. Or sinister.
The animation is not ground-breaking but it is bright and colourful and easy on the eye. The jokes range from predictable to way out of left field, and while it is not ever going to rate on the 'must-see' lists, it had its funny moments and my three daughters certainly enjoyed it. But they tend to enjoy anything when they have a box of popcorn and a bag of treats.
I give it two and a half stars out of five: Maybe wait for the DVD.