Title: The Angry Birds Movie 2
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Director: Thurop Van Orman
Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Leslie Jones, Bill Hader, Rachel Bloom, Awkwafina, Sterling K. Brown, Eugenio Derbez, Danny McBride, and Peter Dinklage
Review: Well, this is a surprise. I had zero expectations heading into this movie. I avoided the first movie like the plague until literally just this week and hated it. Nothing in the trailers for this one hinted at anything different either. Plus, they already told the “story” of the game. Where could they go from there? So, to say I went into this with my arms crossed is a bit of an understatement. But, it slowly broke me down. Within the first couple minutes, I could tell this was a superior sequel. I was laughing. I was caring. It’s odd, but this is actually a good movie.
*Insert that one bird from these movies that goes “Oh my gaaawwd.*
The main thing that sets this movie apart from it’s predecessor? It feels like it actually has a purpose. It feels like they didn’t really know what to do for that first movie plotwise. They just kind of had the characters do random “funny” things until the third act when they finally decided to adapt the “plot” of the video game. It felt forced and unnecessary. This one is way more precise. Within the first couple of minutes, we’re onto the adventure. From point A to Z, every action makes sense. It all moves the plot along without too many distractions. I know that saying a movie has a plot isn’t really the biggest compliments but this franchise has failed on that front before, so it felt really refreshing.
Along with the streamlined plot came better jokes too. Instead of just throwing the characters in random situations, the writers actually seemed to want to break down these characters and make jokes specific to them. As a result, the jokes didn’t feel as cheap and easy as they did in the last one. While still definitely aimed squarely at children, there’s a more sophisticated sense of humor here that really works in the movie’s favor. I’m not saying that every joke lands 100%. There were still a couple of moments that had me cringing. Overall though, I applaud the hell out of the writers. They would’ve made plenty of money without trying, but they still went out there and made a better movie. Maybe this one wasn’t as rushed? I don’t know for sure but it feels like it.
All of this praise and I haven’t even talked about my favorite part yet. Every fifteen minutes or so, the movie would take a break from the main characters and focus on these three adorable hatchlings as they tried to rescue their younger siblings. I don’t want to spoil too much but these characters easily got the most laughs out of me. I haven’t seen an (almost) completely separate story line this entertaining since Scrat in Ice Age. I’m sure they’ll steal the show for a lot of people.
TL;DR: This is maybe the surprise of the year. While still not a perfect flick, The Angry Birds Movie 2 is a solid step up from the original. The plot is better. The jokes are funnier. It feels like it’s more lovingly crafted and not just thrown together at the last minute.
Grade: 4 Stars (I liked it.)