U – 97mins – 2016 – 3D
When an island community of incessantly chirpy flightless birds is invaded by a boat-full of porky-telling neon green pigs, only ostracised and irritable Red (Jason We’re The Millers Sudeikis) is cynical enough to see through the mysterious visitor’s pretence of friendship – but his disagreeable temperament sees his valid claims fall on naïve beaks.
When the greedy snout troop – led by their bearded king, Leonard (Bill Hader) – makes off with the bewildered birds’ unhatched newborns, the feathered flock put their full faith in Red and his fellow Anger Management attendees, Chuck (Josh “Olaf” Gad) and Bomb (Danny McBride), to lead the resistance and claim back their eggs before their babies become breakfast for bacon!
With a script penned by the king of the animated movie genre, Jon Vitti (he has written or consulted on everything from Blue Sky’s Ice Age and Robots to The Simpsons Movie and Alvin and the Chipmunks), The Angry Birds Movie is as colourfully chaotic and hilariously hyperactive as you would expect from a film based on a mobile phone time-waster.
While it feels like it may be slingshotting into cinemas a couple of years too late, it is still a cloyingly app-dictive viewing experience, doing a flocking decent job of transplanting the “swipe-out” simplicity of Rovio Entertainment’s platform game into the central proponent of a larger universe-building (and destroying!) narrative.
It may favour style over substance and laughs over logic, but when there are this many giggles to be got (“Calvin Swine”, “Brad Pigg”, “John Hamm”, “Bomb’s Shelter”), you’d be bird-brained not to jump upon this trampoline. Sure, its garish mentality and maddening persistency does veer mighty close to overkill, but the strike rate is impressive enough to forgive a few missed targets.