Review by Tracee Bond
Newsflash! The Angry Birds aren’t so angry anymore! As the film begins, the residents of Bird Island are regrouping and trying to find out ways to improve themselves as well as Bird Island as a whole. On the other side of the world, the Piggies, Leonard (Bill Hader), Courtney (Awkwafina) and Gary (Sterling K. Brown), are doing the same with Piggy Island, yet they have come to realize there is much more at stake than keeping up with Bird Island. Red (Jason Sudeikis), known for his stubborn and egotistical ways, is having a difficult time admitting that his bullish ideology may no longer evoke the type of leadership that ensures a safe future for Bird Island, and when the Piggies cut to the chase and ask for the Birdies (Chuck (Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride) and Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) and Piggies to form an alliance together, Red isn’t having it. As the film sinks deeper into showing how differently the two Islands operate, it also gives pause to develop each character and appeals to the audience by exposing the weaknesses and strengths in the younger and inexperienced members as well as the older or more mature members of the island. While it is a children’s movie, there are certain humorous elements that only an adult can appreciate, including elements of feminism, egotism, separatism, classism and plain old hard-headed human nature, and then there are totally childlike characteristics of youthful transgressions that make it entertaining and easy to follow.
The film really starts to gain purpose when Silver’s (Rachel Bloom) help that had been previously ignored starts to make a difference in Red’s plan to save the island from destruction. Not only must he embrace the Piggies and what they have to offer, but he must also swallow his pride, step back and allow Silver to take her rightful place in leading the birds in the right direction. By calling a truce, the residents of Bird Island and Piggy Island form a frenemies alliance and are able to capitalize on their joint resources in order to hack into the real enemy’s ecosystem and save themselves from an undesirable fate.
Director Thurop Van Orman does a fine job capitalizing on Red’s angry disposition from the first Angry Birds in 2016 and parlaying it into an upgraded attitude adjustment that changes the entire destiny of Bird Island. In addition, allowing the Piggies to become more caring and humanized, teaches all that enemies can become friends and work together for the greater good. A strong cast and well-versed of highly emotional characters also bring to life the computer-animated project that brings idealism to the forefront while addressing everyday issues such as bullying and self-worth in roles that all ages can relate to. The ninety-nine minutes of creatively eradicating evil through action and silly quips entwine several underlying themes that give flightless birds the ability to soar to new heights while covering physical, emotional and intellectual ground.