Monday, 23 May 2016

Film Review No. 7 The Angry Birds Movie (U)

Strong Points:
Genuinely funny with plently of laugh-out-loud moments
Good animation
Represented the game well
Included all the characters we know and love
References to culture and games
Good voice acting
Plenty for all ages to enjoy

Weak Points:
If you walked in without knowing the game's general story then it may be hard to follow
Pacing's slightly off
Some of the jokes could be seen as too dark for the younger audience

In-depth Review:
A film based on app. OK. Well this should be bad right? I mean video game movies have to be bad, I might as well not go and see this. But see it I did and I've got to say, my suspicions were proved wrong and the film wasn't actually too bad. It was actually quite good.

'Surprisingly funny' are the words I'd use to describe this film. There were plenty of cringe moments, laugh-out moments and 'that won't be understood by the target audience' moments (which is good for some jokes as they were actually quite dark). But overall, it was actually funny and a refreshing film in an age of dark, dreary and draining = good. Sure, the film won't please everyone, it is quite short, has little depth and no Oscar winning performances but that's not what it's about. It's about the flinging birds at castle to destroy them and teaching the value of accepting anyone. And it does that really well.

In terms of story, you follow Red a bird with anger issues stemming from a less than ideal childhood (wow those other kids were mean) trying to get along in life and more importantly, get through anger-management class after an 'incident'. Then the pigs show up, say they are friendly, everyone accepts them except Red and there we have the main plot device. Overall, while quite standard stuff, the writers did get the themes and style right, effectively portraying the birds and pigs as not quite human and keeping it comedic and light throughout. One criticism however, is that if you didn't know about the app before hand (to be honest though, who doesn't?) then it may be quite difficult to grasp the story at the beginning as the pigs arrive and we're just meant to distrust them and follow Red without too much explanation until later on.

The voice acting was good all round, even if Josh Gad can't quite escape from being labelled as Bird Olaf, the energy he brought to the role of Chuck was brilliant. Jason Sudeikis is great as Red and even Peter Dinklage manages to redeem his Ghost performance from Destiny as The Mighty Eagle. The music, from the slowed down theme music of the app (something that film makers seem to be doing more and more now) to the general sound effects were, while nothing to shout home about, good for a film about bird flinging.

Graphics were vibrant, detailed and above par with what the film should've been. I personally liked the new models for the birds and they even managed to bring the old ones back as drawings in some of the scenes if you look closely. Talking about spotting references, there were plenty on offer, from Daft Piggies and Calvin Swine to Instaham and more. These alone allow for another viewing of the film, if only to say 'did they really do that?'

Conclusion: overall, this film was better than it had any right to be and in an age of animation stores becoming more complex and dark so as to compete with Pixar, this film was a relaxed breath of fresh air.

Rating: 72%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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