Saturday, November 18, 2017
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Review: 'The Angry Birds Movie' a bigger time suck than the game

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The Angry Birds Movie is exactly what one expects from a movie based on a video gaming app, and so much less.

Blessed with all-star voices and cursed by a lack of ambition, this is a frantically animated cash grab at best. It was predictable that a game without back story would be given one, that a simple cellphone time suck would be ginned up to 3-D feature length.

I just had no idea the result would be so flat and irritating. Even a Saturday morning crowd of children didn't sound impressed. Their loudest laughs were stoked by one feathered character urinating for a comically extended period of time while others watch horrified. Not exactly comedy gold.

Jason Sudeikis voices Red, the game's primary missile aimed by slingshot at lean-tos constructed by green pigs on Piggy Island. Millions of Angry Birds players since 2009 didn't need an origins story, so it's a dubious tack to wait an hour before anything resembling the app happens.

Red is a hothead, as you'd expect, sentenced to anger management classes where he meets Chuck (Josh Gad), the game's speedy yellow buzzsaw, and Bomb (Danny McBride), who blows up when he's mad. They're the only birds distrusting a ship full of hospitable pigs that sailed on shore, led by Leonard (Bill Hader).

For all of the famous names in the cast, few make distinguishable impressions. Sudeikis lands a few choice wisecracks, while Gad essentially rehashes Olaf from Frozen, without matching material. Keegan Michael-Key as a stuffy judge and Peter Dinklage's pompous Mighty Eagle amuse in fits and starts.

Jon Vitti's screenplay can't even muster a decent "be yourself" or "live your dream" moral to this story. The Angry Birds Movie is simply a pointless swirl of color and motion to babysit small children on home video in a few months. Sadly, such movies aren't an endangered species.

Contact Steve Persall at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

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