No eggs about it.
Video game movie adaptations are gradually improving, especially with this year’s Detective Pikachu turning out to be decent but ultimately not fulfilling the franchise’s full potential. However, some need not bear the weight of such high expectations, especially when that particular franchise is not highly-regarded in the first place.
That applies to The Angry Birds Movie 2. No one asked for a video game adaptation of a mobile game fad that was in its prime years ago, but the first movie was surprisingly better than anyone would’ve expected, which has led to this sequel being made.
Now, The Angry Birds Movie 2 is currently the best-reviewed adaptation of a video game, with a 75 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. How is that possible?
Second Time’s A Charm
2016’s The Angry Birds Movie was funnier and smarter than it had any right to be, especially for a mobile game franchise that involves the player throwing exploding birds at flimsy structures built by evil pigs. It also featured meta references and subtle mature jokes that adults could also appreciate, even though the plot is hogwash and lacks any emotional impact.
The folks at Rovio Animation and Sony Pictures Animation knew what they were doing, and they continued their winning formula with the sequel. There are more of the meta jokes and pop culture references à la 20th Century Fox’s The Lego Movie franchise, though they’re intended to be snappier and less intricate in The Angry Birds Movie 2.
The Angry Birds Movie 2 has the added advantage of not having to introduce its world and characters, unlike its predecessor. This allows the sequel more room to breathe, expand its world, and focus on the most important aspect of these movies: the laughs and gags.
This movie delivers almost a non-stop barrage of jokes left and right, from the beginning to the end of the movie. I like some of the more subtler veiled adult jokes, like a character commenting that main character Red has a “resting bird face” (read: resting bitch face) and what might even be a construed as masturbation joke.
Too Busy Laughing To Care About Plot
All these jokes and gags are clearly meant to distract viewers from the movie’s plot, as they will be too busy laughing to stop and think about the dumb and simplistic plot. Essentially, The Angry Birds Movie 2 continues from the first movie, with the birds and pigs still at each others’ necks and trading blows back-and-forth.
They then enter into a truce and are forced to work together against a new threat to both of their islands; the Eagles on Eagle Island. The only significant plot thread has to do with the backstory of the new main antagonist, Zeta, who has ‘history’ with one of the birds from Bird Island.
New Birds Of A Feather
What I enjoyed the most about The Angry Birds Movie 2 is the new side-plot featuring new baby bird characters or hatchlings as they’re referred to in the movie. These adorable balls of fluff are cute as heck and go on a separate adventure of their own to retrieve eggs (unhatched birds) with hilarious results à la Scrat the squirrel and his acorn in the Ice Age franchise.
The addition of Rachel Bloom’s Silver as the sister of Josh Gad’s Chuck and the love interest of Jason Sudeikis’ Red improves the group dynamic of the main characters. Silver is the antithesis of Red, as she butts heads and engages in witty banter with the ‘hero’ multiple times throughout the movie.
The rest of the returning cast does an amazing job, as do the other new additions like Akwafina’s Courtney and Sterling K. Brown’s Garry Pig. Bill Hader gets a lot more material this around as the former antagonist King Leonard of the pigs. As far as villains and antagonists go, Leslie Jones’ Zeta is a decent one, though there’s not much to talk about.
Fun For All
While The Angry Birds Movie 2 may not be on the same level as The Lego Movie 2 or Toy Story 4 in terms of sheer brilliance and incredible writing, it more than makes up for all of that by being one of the funniest animated offerings this year.
Does it deserve to be the best-reviewed video game movie of all time? Perhaps it doesn’t, but The Angry Birds Movie 2 is both good and entertaining, which most video game movies can’t even boast of.
FINAL SCORE: 70/100
We received a special preview screening courtesy of Sony Pictures Malaysia. The Angry Birds Movie 2 premieres in Malaysian cinemas on 29 August 2019.