Countless attempts have been made to prolong a franchise just to keep the coffers flowing, often at the cost of quality output (I’m looking at you, Pirates of the Caribbean). Based on the iconic and annoyingly addictive video game franchise by Rovio Entertainment, this movie too seems to be no more than a last-ditch attempt to cash in on the popularity that the game used to enjoy in the not-so-distant past but has faded away significantly. Debutant directors Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly try their best to engage the family audience, especially the kids, through splashes of multitudinous colors. Full points for the effort, but their attempts fall flat.
Throw in actors like Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Dany McBride, Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon and Peter Dinklage, and you’d be inclined to think that you’ve got the makings of a delectable offering. However, the screenplay by Jon Vitti proves to be the culprit. Voice actors can only bring so much to the sky, but there’s no flying when the screenplay does not have feathers. Given that Vitti has been involved with some of the recent Alvin and The Chipmunks movies, it is not surprising to see that he fails to generate a hearty laugh. The attempts at mirth seem forced, giving an image of trying too hard to fit into the genre of an animated comedy.
The protagonist, Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis), is said to have anger management issues but his sarcasm and isolationist streak come off as major traits. The other characters with anger management issues, Chuck (voiced by Josh Gad) and Bomb (voiced by Danny McBride), too fail to show telltale signs of anger that might require them to go to therapy. The saving graces come in the form of The Mighty Eagle (voiced by Peter Dinklage) [Seriously, this man can do no wrong!] and Leonard (voiced by Bill Hader), the king of the pigs, who comes to Bird Island on a nefariously egg-tastic mission.
The movie makes use of age-old cartoon gags to elicit laughter, which might work for children but is certainly not amusing for the adult audience. Walking on air before plummeting to the ground and slow-motion with slowed-down vocals within the first 10 minutes rendered the beginning uninteresting. There’s a time-lapse sequence when the birds climb to the top of the wrong mountain. In hindsight, such antics were absolutely irrelevant to the plot. The animation proves to be the highlight of the movie, although it is nowhere near Wreck-It Ralph (2012). The movie lacks the ingenuity of Inside Out (2015) or the clever allegory of Zootopia (2016). The character designs and storyline seem bird-brained. As a whole, it is an arbitrarily and haphazardly stitched up imitation of the birds-versus-pigs gameplay. You would expect better from Sony after Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009).
You’d be better off playing the game on your smartphone than going to the theatres. Sit this one out.
More of a marketing opportunity than a movie.