Saturday, 24 August 2019

Angry Birds Movie 2 ★★★★☆

2016 brought one of the biggest surprises of recent years in the world of animated film. The Angry Birds Movie should, by all accounts, have been shit. It didn’t have a huge amount going for it – it was based on a game, for starters. And not just that, but a PHONE game. Add to that the fact that it was brought to us by Sony Pictures Animation – the company behind Hotel Transylvania and the dreadful Smurfs movies – and this one should’ve been a dud. In actual fact, it was hilarious, charming, colourful fun. I loved it. So now, we are presented with something that should be even worse – a sequel to a film based on a phone game…

Picking up directly where the first film left off, this sequel follows King Mudbeard (Bill Hader), the ruler of the Bad Piggies, as he plots revenge against Red (Jason Sudeikis), Chuck (Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride) and the rest of the Angry Birds after they devastated his homeland in a prior battle, leading to a comical war that seemingly does not end - until a mysterious purple bird named Zeta (Leslie Jones) threatens them all with her own plans after being fed up with living in a remote, arctic island. To avoid a frozen fate, the Birds and Pigs forge an uneasy alliance and become ‘frenemies’ against Zeta and embark on a new adventure.

There isn’t a huge amount one can say about The Angry Birds Movie 2 that wasn’t said about the first film, so your enjoyment of the 2016 origin story will entirely dictate the enjoyment of this sequel. The bizarre humour, non-stop gags and general kinetic approach to story-telling is just as it was in part one – so if like me, you loved the first film, then you’ll have a great time with The Angry Birds Movie 2. It’s that simple. This is not a sequel that pushes the envelope whatsoever or does anything innovative. It’s very much an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” sequel – and that’s fine by me.

What The Angry Birds Movie 2 does add, however, is some new characters. SNL’s Leslie Jones steals the show as the antagonist Zeta, while her right-hand-bird Debbie voiced by the hilarious Tiffany Haddish also gets plenty of laughs. Returning cast Sudeikis, Gad, McBride, Hader, Maya Rudolph and Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage slip straight back into their characters and make one of the funniest voice casts you could possibly ask for.

Obviously, this is a film aimed at children – but if you want a break from the seriousness of this world, Angry Birds 2 is the perfect antidote to the madness. The film’s crazy, surreal humour and charmingly simplistic narrative make for a wonderful cinematic escape, and easily one of the funniest animated films of recent years. Sure, it ain’t anywhere near Disney levels of quality, but it doesn’t care. It doesn’t take itself remotely seriously or really try and deliver much of a message – it’s too busy trying to make us laugh. And it succeeds admirably. Long may the Angry Birds cinematic universe continue!

Sam Love

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