I'm pretty certain that kids will enjoy The Angry Birds Movie 2
as much as they did the original film from three years ago. As for the accompanying parents, they might like it a little bit more. I know I did. This is a weirder, quirkier and funnier film than the first.
If you'll recall, the original Angry Birds Movie
told the story of Red (voice by Jason Sudeikis), an angry bird who pretty much lived in isolation on an island of other birds. When an army of pigs from another island led by King Leonard (Bill Hader) tried to invade the bird's home and steal their eggs, Red and his two friends Chuck (Josh Gad) and Bomb (Danny McBride) led the charge in fighting back the evil pigs. As the sequel opens, some time has passed, and Red is still being hailed as a hero by his fellow birds due to his actions. Red's home island and the pig island are still at war with each other, and are constantly playing childish pranks on one another. But now, a new threat has arrived that threatens both the birds and pigs, which will force them to call a truce and work together to save their individual homes.
A mysterious third island has been discovered, this one an arctic wasteland that is home to some eagles. Why the eagles don't live on the bird's island, the movie never explains. The ruler of the eagles, Queen Zeta (Leslie Jones), is tired of living in a land of ice and snow where you can't get a hot shower, and baby seals are always stealing your freshly caught fish dinner. She wants to live on a tropical climate like the birds and pigs do, so she launches an attack on both islands by hurtling massive cannonballs of ice at the island from a super weapon that her team of scientists built for her. Her plan is to drive the inhabitants from their homes with her invasion campaign, and take control. With both the birds and pigs threatened by this new island, Red and Leonard will have to team up and form a small team of heroes to make their way to the arctic land, and destroy the eagle's weapon.
It may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but The Angry Birds Movie 2
is probably the best movie we could hope for when it comes to a film based on a mobile app video game built around flightless birds. I was not taken with the earlier movie, but this one made me laugh more. There is more dialogue-driven humor this time around, with plenty that are bound to go flying over the heads of small children. Not to worry, though. The kids at my screening were still laughing plenty, especially at the jokes built around butts, of which this movie has several. Maybe it's the fact that this movie has different writers behind the script than the first, but this just feels like a lighter and fresher film. It's weird, it's silly, and it just feels like the right approach to take these characters. The last movie got lost in a plot about Red never quite fitting in with his other birds. This movie just gives us a simple comedy adventure story.
The tone helps this movie feel light on its feet. It never lingers on any scene or joke for too long, so it never gets bogged down. There are some character building moments, like a love interest for Red, but that's not really what this movie is about. It just wants to be a goofy time at the movies that parents and kids can share, and it succeeds at what it sets out to do. I do have to wonder about the film's chances at the box office, however. There's some strong family competition, even this late into the summer, and it might be a bit too slight to grab much attention. I have a feeling that this movie will be a lot more appreciated when it comes home on DVD.
And yet, there is a certain Looney Tunes
-inspired "anything for a laugh" approach to The Angry Birds Movie 2
that helped its appeal with me. This is a movie that's not afraid to be random. This is a good thing, as the film is at its best when it's not trying to tell a proper story, and just goes for broke.