When “The Angry Birds Movie” was released in 2016, we never dreamed it would be a decent movie, but Sony Animation Pictures proved us wrong. Sony smelled that they had a successful franchise at their fingertips, so they greenlit a sequel almost immediately. Are they milking the property for all it’s worth? Sure, but as long as they keep pumping out content that make us laugh, we’ll probably continue to see their films.
“The Angry Birds Movie 2” is directed by Thurop Van Orman and John Rice. It continues the story of Red (Jason Sudeikis), who was once shunned by those around him. Now, he is the hero of Bird Island, and boy does he love the adulation. He spends his days with his buddies Chuck (Josh Gad) and Bomb (Danny McBride) as they protect Bird Island from the pranks that come from the neighboring Pig Island and its leader Leonard (Bill Hader). When a new danger arises that threatens both islands, these former enemies must team up to battle their mutual foe, an eagle named Zeta (Leslie Jones). Red, who still thinks he’s the only hero in town, believes he has to lead the charge into battle and carry the brunt of the burden. Red must learn to put his ego aside, work together with his teammates, and follow the lead of someone more qualified to get the job done.
From conception to marketing, the first “The Angry Birds Movie” looked like it was going to be terrible. When we saw it, however, we wound up enjoying it for what it was. We had slightly higher hopes for the sequel, but still had a lingering feeling of doubt knowing that the concept had run its course.
Making a sequel felt like Sony was beating a dead horse into the ground. Luckily, we once again left the theater mostly pleased with what we saw in “The Angry Birds Movie 2.” It is brilliantly animated and has terrific voiceover work. It is surprisingly well crafted and does a good job continuing Red’s character arc as he learns that he doesn’t have to try to do everything on his own.
The story also deals with important themes like emphasizing the importance of teamwork. It wants people to understand that not every person is the best person for every given task. The film also deals with a theme that has been prevalent in family films this year, and that is finding common ground with individuals who are the perceived “other” or “enemy.” It stresses the importance of communication and the value of showing emotions.
All of these messages are served right alongside a hefty helping of crude humor, meta jokes, sight gags, and silly nonsense that ventures into risque territory more than once (which is why it is rated PG). They know the target audience. The narrative is pretty straightforward, but it can be a little thin.
Similar to “The Secret Life of Pets 2” from earlier this year, “The Angry Birds Movie 2” has a side-plot involving three baby hatchlings chasing some lost eggs that feels more like a separate animated short that has been woven in and around the larger storyline simply to elongate its runtime. Don’t get us wrong, the hatchlings are adorable, and their adventure contains a lot of self-aware comedy, but they are mostly just fluffy filler loosely tied to the main plot in a clever-but-unnecessary way.
“The Angry Birds Movie 2”; may not be the best kids movie of 2019, but it’s certainly worth seeing, if only to escape the summer heat. It has a lot of funny moments and several valuable lessons for kids. If you and your family enjoyed the first installment in this franchise, check this one out!
OUR RATING: 3.5/5