Thursday, August 22, 2019

Movie Review: "The Angry Birds Movie 2" (2019)

Director:  Thurop Van Orman and John Rice
Year: 2019
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes

The once-ostracized Red is now the hero of Bird Island. He spends his day protecting it from the pranks that come from their neighbor, Pig Island. When a new threat arises that puts both islands in danger, Red must team up with his old enemies to fight it off.

Movie still for the 2019 animated comedy The Angry Birds Movie 2 where Red, Chuck, the Hatchlings, and Bomb combat Leonard's pranks to keep Bird Island safe.
"Isn't it funny how no one liked you until you saved the island?" (Image Source)
When "The Angry Birds Movie" came out in 2016, we never dreamed that it would be a decent movie, but Sony Animation Pictures proved us wrong. Sony smelled that they had a successful franchise at their fingertips, so they greenlit a sequel almost immediately. Are they milking the property for all it's worth? Sure, but as long as they are pumping out movies that make us laugh, we'll probably continue to see them. "The Angry Birds Movie 2" is directed by Thurop Van Orman and John Rice. It is written by Jonathan E. Stewart and Eyal Podell, who worked together on "Cars 3." The screenplay comes to us from "Ice Age" scribe Peter Ackerman and is a sequel to the previously mentioned 2016 surprise hit "The Angry Birds Movie." This film continues the story of Red (Jason Sudeikis), who was once shunned by those around him. Now, he is the hero of Bird Island, and boy does he love the adulation. He spends his days with his buddies Chuck (Josh Gad) and Bomb (Danny McBride) as they protect Bird Island from the pranks that come from the neighboring Pig Island and its leader Leonard (Bill Hader). When a new danger arises that threatens both islands, these former enemies must team up to battle their mutual foe, an eagle named Zeta (Leslie Jones). Red, who still thinks he's the only hero in town, believes he has to lead the charge into battle and carry the brunt of the burden. Red must learn to put his ego aside, work together with his teammates, and follow the lead of someone more qualified to get the job done. 
Movie still featuring Leslie Jones as the voice of the purple eagle Zeta in "The Angry Birds Movie 2" where she yells at her dog, who is frozen in a block of ice
"We're working with what we've got." (Image Source)
From conception to marketing, the first "The Angry Birds Movie" looked like it was going to be terrible. When we saw it, however, we wound up enjoying it for what it was. Sony Pictures Animation announced a sequel was in the works, so we had slightly higher hopes with a lingering feeling of doubt knowing that the concept had run its course. Making a sequel felt like they were beating a dead horse into the ground. Luckily, we once again left the theater mostly pleased with what we saw in "The Angry Birds Movie 2." It is brilliantly animated and has terrific voiceover work. It is surprisingly well crafted and does a good job continuing Red's character arc as he learns that he doesn't have to try to do everything on his own. The story also deals with important themes like emphasizing the importance of teamwork. It wants people to understand that not every person is the best person for every given task. The film also deals with a theme that has been prevalent in family films this year, and that is finding common ground with individuals who are the perceived "other" or "enemy." It stresses the importance of communication and the value of showing emotions. All of these messages are served right alongside a hefty helping of crude humor, meta jokes, sight gags, and silly nonsense that ventures into risque territory more than once. If all else fails, the director is content to flash a piggy bottom on the screen to get a giggle out of little kids who are sure to say, "haha, look, it's a butt!" They know the target audience. The narrative is pretty straightforward, but it can be a little thin. Similar to "The Secret Life of Pets 2" from earlier this year, "The Angry Birds Movie 2" has a side-plot involving three baby hatchlings chasing some lost eggs that feels more like a separate animated short that has been woven in and around the larger storyline simply to elongate its runtime. Don't get us wrong, the hatchlings are adorable, and their adventure contains a lot of self-aware comedy, but they are mostly just fluffy filler loosely tied to the main plot in a clever-but-unnecessary way.
The Angry Birds Movie 2 film still featuring Courtney (Awkwafina), Bomb (Danny McBride), Chuck (Josh Gad), and Silver (Rachel Bloom) preparing to take on Eagle Island
"Here's the scary part: we have to put aside our differences and work together." (Image Source)
"The Angry Birds Movie 2" may not be the best kids movie of 2019, but it certainly worth seeing, if only to escape the summer heat. It has a lot of funny moments and several valuable lessons for kids.

My Rating: 6.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.5/10
RT Rating: 75%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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