“The Angry Birds Movie 2” stars Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, and Leslie Jones. Released on August 13, 2019, the film has Red and his friends embarking on a new adventure.
The film features the directorial debut of Thurop Van Orman, who is known for creating “The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack”, and it is a sequel to the 2016 animated film, “The Angry Birds Movie”. Hollywood has gotten lucky with their video game based films this year with the release of “Detective Pikachu”, a fun and lovable adventure that’s respectful to the source material it’s based on. Now, we have ourselves another game-based motion picture that is hoping to continue that fortunate trend, and it stars a trio of flightless birds who have anger issues. Yep, we are now living in a world where a movie based on the “Angry Birds” games gets its own sequel, while others like “Tomb Raider” get jack squat. “The Angry Birds Movie” wasn’t exactly a masterpiece when it comes to critical reception. However, audiences liked it enough for Hollywood to move forward with a follow-up because no one listens to what the critics say anyway. As an adult, I can understand that the film adaptation of “Angry Birds” was undeniably flawed from its predictable plot to its kid-friendly humor. Nevertheless, for a movie that’s aimed towards kids, it did well in displaying the colorful world of the source material and teaching young kids about anger. I didn’t love “The Angry Birds Movie”, but I didn’t hate it, either. To me, it had enough tolerable moments to make it at least enjoyable. I wasn’t too worried about this animated sequel because I knew what I was getting myself into based on my experience with its predecessor, but will audiences feel the same way as well?
Set after the events of the first film, the story has the residents of Bird Island, including Red (Sudeikis) and his friends Chuck (Gad) and Bomb (McBride), at an all-out prank war with the piggies from Piggy Island, lead by their leader Leonard (Hader). When their feud is interrupted by a mysterious third island who shoots giant ice balls, the birds and the pigs are going to have to settle their differences in order to save their homes from the island’s leader, Zeta (Jones), who plans on occupying the islands for her own purposes. Much like its predecessor, the sequel contains plenty of energetic moments and visual humor that you would normally see in a kids cartoon, which would make it an easy target for the young ones. It also has an easy-to-follow storyline that portrays the importance of friendship and teamwork. Based on those assumptions alone, "The Angry Birds Movie 2" is pretty much what you would expect from a cartoonish sequel about flightless birds. If you like the first film, you might like this one as well. If not, then this film will make you want to get shot out of a giant ice cannon. From my personal point of view, it was surprisingly just as enjoyable as the first film, although it still has some familiar flaws that prevented it from soaring beyond its expectations. When it comes to the plot, "The Angry Birds Movie 2" is no "Godfather Part II". While the story has some pretty entertaining scenes that will please young kids and some adults who happen to like its predecessor, its execution fell flat on its face after the first act due to some predictable plot elements and the lack of strong characters. One of the elements that disappointed me the most was the cooperation between Red and Leonard. They completely wasted the opportunity to fully explore the relationship between the two rivals. Instead, they just used this plot element for the sake of representing more kid-friendly humor from the pigs. There's also a side plot that has the Hatchlings getting themselves into some absurd situations while attempting to rescue the eggs. It's weirdly adorable, but based on how it was structured onscreen, it should've been made as a short film for the home media release. Other than that, the story has a good amount of tolerability and fun to overcome these noticeable mistakes. The entire main cast reprised their roles from the first “Angry Birds” film, ranging from Sudeikis as Red to Peter Dinklage as Mighty Eagle, with a chunk load of newbies joining in on the fun, including Jones as Zeta, Rachel Bloom as Chuck’s sister Silver, and “Crazy Rich Asians” star Awkwafina as Courtney, one of Leonard’s pigs who assist the main characters. As usual, they did a terrific job at bringing the energy and finesse into their respective characters, especially Sudeikis, Gad, and McBride. I also have to admit that Leslie Jones was very entertaining as the film’s main antagonist. Based on her performance in this film, I hope that we get to see more of her in the near future. Another thing I would like to mention is the film’s humor, which consists of visual gags and cartoonish slapstick. It’s idiotic to a fault, but it’s actually a bit of an improvement over its predecessor’s use of humor, in my honest opinion. Thurop Van Orman was able to balance this type of humor with the film’s tolerable story without sending the entire project down to the deepest level of inexcusable mindless fluff. Some of the jokes didn’t quite work as well as others, but it got me laughing most of the time, so I’m not complaining. The animation works well in portraying the colorful and frenetic world of “Angry Birds” as well as the character designs. It’s not as groundbreaking as the animation from “Toy Story 4”, but if the animators’ job was to create a style that matches the antics of a slapstick cartoon and the colors of the source material, then consider that a job well done.
Overall, “The Angry Birds Movie 2” offers the same type of energy and slapstick as its predecessor, for better or for worse. Its story and characters weren’t convincing enough to rise itself above the first film, but it somehow succeeds in slingshotting its way out of Hollywood’s pit of mediocre sequels thanks to its star-studded cast, its bright and colorful animation, and some tolerable cartoonish humor. Like how I felt towards “The Angry Birds Movie” three years ago, I feel that the sequel wasn’t great, but it wasn’t a total bust, either. I would probably recommend this one to people who enjoyed its predecessor. As for those who are familiar with the games it’s based on, I would leave that up to them.