The Angry Birds Movie 2
Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Leslie Jones
Director: Thurop Van Orman
Angry Birds, Rovio’s game, let me confess, has been my guilty pleasure with hours dedicated to reaching different levels of expertise in demolishing the evil pigs who steal the bird’s eggs! When this birds and pigs story evolved into a film, I was one of the early birds to queue up outside the ticket window dragging the reluctant spouse for the big screen experience of a game that I had dedicated countless hours to. The first film edition was a simple one, suitable for children and others who enjoy Peppa Pig and suchlike fables.
The Angry Birds Movie 2 gets off to a slow start but takes flight soon enough. It follows in the footsteps of the first, building on the bird-pig enmity and the primary characters like Red (the hero, with his anger management issues, Leonard (leading the pigs) and a couple others. Except that this time, the sworn enemies namely the pigs and the birds turn frenemies to save their islands against the snowball attacks from a mysterious island.
The culprit, it turns out, is Zeta, a purple eagle, with Miss-Havisham-like quirks (an impressive Leslie Jones voicing it with elan) from the Eagle Island who tired of her cold icy island is planning something of a landgrab of the warm tropical islands with her weaponised snowballs! But obviously, Leonard (Bill Hader) is worried enough to call for a quick truce and join forces with the birds against Zeta and her flock. Red and Leonard put together an army with some old faces- Chuck (Josh Gad) and some new-Silver (Rachel Bloom) to take on the enemies.
If the first edition was excessively simple, The Angry Birds Movie 2 more than makes up what with the much-needed bells and whistles—a love story, an ‘aww’ inspiring moment that involves hatchlings and a “united we stand” sort of message. Not to mention sharper humour and emotional layers to key characters especially Red (Jason Sudeikis), Zeta and the Mighty Eagle. Besides the referencing of popular films, there is the Final Countdown soundtrack thrown in along with a breakdance battle between the eagles and the pig and bird army, to amp the excitement. And it does succeed. The Angry Birds Movie 2 is not Up or Kung Fu Panda. Not yet. However, the progress in story and screenplay despite the high silly quotient, suggests a strong possibility for an even better third sequel.
Thurop Van Orman, a voice actor and cartoonist, makes his debut as a director and a reasonably competent one at that. The film boasts of a stellar cast of voice actors including the abovementioned and others like Peter Dinklage (Mighty Eagle), Danny McBride (Bomb) and Nicki Minaj among others.
With a little more creative help, the Angry Birds franchise could soon catapult itself into the league of the top game-inspired movies. As for its box-office collections, given the Indian audience’s love for mindless entertainment, The Angry Birds Movie 2 may well spring a happy surprise.