Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
Jason Sudeikis … Red (voice)
Josh Gad … Chuck (voice)
Leslie Jones … Zeta (voice)
Bill Hader … Leonard (voice)
Rachel Bloom … Silver (voice)
Awkwafina … Courtney (voice)
Sterling K. Brown … Garry (voice)
Eugenio Derbez … Glenn (voice)
Tiffany Haddish … Debbie (voice)
Danny McBride … Bomb (voice)
Peter Dinklage … Mighty Eagle (voice)
Pete Davidson … Jerry (voice)
Zach Woods … Carl (voice)
Maya Rudolph … Matilda (voice)
Tony Hale … Mime (voice)
Nicki Minaj … Pinky (voice)
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|Director||Thurop Van Orman|
Rovio Entertainment [Finlind]
Sony Pictures Animation
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|Distributor||Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures|
Prequel: “The Angry Birds Movie” (2016)
For those who didn’t know, Red, a resident of Bird Island, used to be one of the loneliest, angriest birds in all of Bird Island. He was until, through a turn of events, he saved the residents of the island (well, actually the baby bird eggs) from the evil Pigs of Pig Island. Now, Red is loved and revered by all the people and works, along with his best friends Chuck and Bomb, to protect and defend Bird Island from the continuous attacks (or, as they call it, “pranks”) by the Pigs.
But what’s this? A message tied to a balloon floats to the birds of Bird Island. Its a message from the Pigs stating (and I’m paraphrasing), “Dear Birds, let us cease this fighting and call a truce between the two of us.” The birds are convinced it’s true, except for, well, Red. Red thinks it’s a trap, that is until Leonard (the leader of Pig Island) speaks directly to Red.
Leonard informs Red that there is, indeed, a third island amongst them. An island belonging to eagles. These eagles have been launching balls of ice everywhere (at parts of Bird Island and Pig Island), led by the vindictive and treacherous Zeta. His goal? To destroy Bird Island and Pig Island and turn them into her own personal paradises.
It’s time for Leonard and Red to join forces, along with Chuck, Bomb and Chuck’s sister, Silver, to stop Zeta before Pig Island and Bird Island are lost forever.
Movies based on video games haven’t always met with, uh, roaring success. If I were to make a possible list, the top movies to come to mind that were, in my mind, unsuccessful, by critics and even most audiences include: “Assassins Creed,” “Warcraft,” and “Need for Speed.” I could go on, but I think you get the point that, basically, to make a movie from a video game is always a leap of faith.
Which brings me to the “Angry Birds” films. In the first movie, I found the film, truthfully to be one of the most unique video-game-to-film adaptations I had seen in awhile. Was it crass? Yes. Was it perfect? Absolutely not, far from it. However, the first film had these subtle nuances that, for those who had ever played the game, even the adult could muster up a wince and say, “That was clever.” Additionally, like the game itself, the pacing of the first film was so incredibly quick ,it was a challenge to keep your attention on what was going on (I believe, though, this was done intentionally to imitate the game itself).
With regards to the SECOND film, “Angry Birds Movie 2,” there are still moments of ingenuity, clever dialog and the oh so subtle references to the game itself. Sure, the premise of “villain and hero unite” has been down countless times, and, to be frank, this wasn’t unique. But it was still heartening to see Red and Lawrence, even for this one occasion, to overcome their pettiness to work together and bring peace for the sake of both their lands. There are also some strong lessons on friendship, leadership and teamwork and on never leaving someone behind.
BUT, and I really can’t stress this enough, the level of crass and crude content this time around has increased tremendously to the point that about half way through the film I kept rolling my eyes and saying, “Really… again?” or “Why? Come on!” (e.g. The Pigs accidentally put on spandex and start dancing to the song “I’m Too Sexy.” Was this REALLY NECESSARY for a CHILDREN’S film?). Potty humor, language, innuendo and even some partial nudity turned what could have been a nice sequel into an hour and a half of “Oh my” (I got tired of how much I had to mark stuff down on my clipboard). Here is what we’re looking at, specifically:
Violence: Heavy (especially for a children’s film)— A duck gets hit in the face with a pie. Characters eat live worms. A bouncy house pops with young birds inside as the young birds try to escape. Birds are seen being attacked by crabs. A pig is knocked in the head by a telescope. An eagle engineer, as a form of torture, is seen being suspended in the air with his arms and legs in ice. Bomb blows up stuff, and a few people are near him when this happens). Mighty Eagle slams into a rock. We see numerous ice balls destroying buildings on Bird Island and Pig Island. Three little hatchlings (young birds) float into space (while attempting to save baby eggs), but fall back down to Earth. Two birds bungee jump, and the bungee cord snaps. A boa constrictor is wrestled with off-screen, and the hatchlings come out afterward in snake leather with one saying, “Well, that got dark.” Red and Silver are knocked out by a security guard. A security guard is hit in the back of the head by an object, is tossed around the room, bangs his head and is knocked out. There is another sequence with ice balls, and this time they are filled with lava and some hit birds and pigs.
Vulgarity/Profanity: stupid (2x), heck (3), idiots (2), cr*p (1), loser (3), OMG (cut off) (3). A hatchling starts to use a curse words, but they are covered up through means of a fog-horn sounded censor. Other concerning dialog included someone stating to Red: “Have fun being alone for the rest of your life,” as well as someone stating to Red, “Nobody loved you till you saved Bird Island,” and someone states, “You tried to eat our kin.”
Sex/Nudity: Chuck makes some very inappropriate comments during a speed dating event. Zeta tries to shower (we don’t see anything). Someone mentions that it is mating season for birds. Chuck tells Red he hid Red’s house keys on Chuck’s body somewhere. A female bird does a mating dance for Red. There are a couple occasions we see a pig’s bare rear end. We also see drawings on the back of a pig and their rear end at one point. There is one scene in which a pig takes some uncomfortable selfies: one that’s a “butt shut” and one where the male pig is wearing makeup. Red and Silver land on top of each other after a fall and the gang comments on it. As mentioned earlier, there’s a scene where pigs are wearing spandex. A character is revealed to have had a child out of wedlock.
Other: Bomb and Chuck cover themselves in pig snot for some sort of protection (Bomb is later seen swimming in a vat of pig snot). We see an eagle urinating in a bathroom urinal (nothing graphic). A security feed (it’s actually a sticky note attached to the camera) shows an eagle sitting on a toilet. Hatchlings steal baby eggs to play with. There’s a conversation between Red and Lawrence where Lawrence states “Have you seen…,” and Red quickly interrupts with, “Yes,” and Lawrence states, “It’s disgusting.” A cow is milked and we see the cow’s shocked reaction.
Originally, Red decides to go on this mission with Lawrence, not only to save Bird Island, but so that he can still continue to be the hero, continue to be liked, continue to have purpose. He is afraid that once Bird Island no longer needs saving, he will return to being the lonely outcast he was before.
It’s funny how many of us can relate to Red and his situation. How many of us want to be liked by our peers, our neighbors, perhaps even by our own family? How many of us want to find purpose when the world tells us we are but small fish in a large pond; when the world tells us we are insignificant and that nothing we do can ever be enough.
But this is a lie. We must find our purpose in the Lord. We don’t need the world’s approval or for the world to tell us who we can and cannot be. The Lord will guide us to wherever and however we can best serve Him, not the world. The world should not even be in our view!
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” -1 Peter 2:9
“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out” —Proverbs 20:5
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” -Philippians 2:12-13
“Angry Birds Movie 2,” in some ways, is a step up from its predecessor with regards to its plot line, overall pacing, and use of characters. Set aside all this, however, and what you are left with, unfortunately, is a mind-blowing amount of inappropriate language, sexual dialog, situations (and, again, innuendo), and violence, that clearly make this film unsuitable for viewing by children of any age. As it stands, I do NOT recommend this family to anyone, Christian or otherwise.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.