The Angry Birds Movie 2 Review

The Angry Birds Movie 2
The war of pranks between Bird Island and Piggy Island is raging. Yet when a third ice-capped island threatens the safety of both paradises, pig king Leonard (Bill Hader) suggests a truce so Red (Jason Sudeikis), Bomb (Danny McBride), Chuck (Josh Gad) and Chuck’s sister Silver (Rachel Bloom) join a mission to nullify the danger.

by Ian Freer |
Published on
Release Date:

04 Oct 2019

Original Title:

The Angry Birds Movie 2

If Judd Apatow were creating a live-action ensemble dramedy about life and love and muddling through, he could do a lot worse than purloin the cast of The Angry Birds Movie 2: Jason Sudeikis, Danny McBride, Josh Gad, Leslie Jones, Bill Hader, Rachel Bloom, Tiffany Haddish, Peter Dinklage, Awkwafina, Sterling K. Brown, Maya Rudolph (plus a cameo by Nicki Minaj). Instead this stellar collection of talents is being put to use in the sequel to a 2016 original inspired by a popular app where you catapult birds to flatten green pigs. Still, untethered from the shackles of its game-based origins, new creative team Thurop Van Orman and John Rice’s film is a more enjoyable affair, still lacking the storytelling craft of a Pixar or a Laika, but delivering gaudy, hit-and-miss fun.

The Angry Birds Movie 2

Aptly enough for a film about flightless birds, it doesn’t get off to a flying start. After a frenetic pre-credits sequence that throws a lot of gags at the screen and sees what sticks (answer: not a lot), a simple set-up emerges. Both Bird and Piggy Island are under attack from Eagle Island, led by purple bird Zeta (Leslie Jones on lively form) who uses a volcano-type super-weapon to lob ice bombs at the avian and porcine communities. Her simple, admirable plan is to use the two islands as a summer vacation escape from her glacial surroundings. King pig Leonard (Hader) suggests a truce to Red (Sudeikis), the hero of the first film, who is reluctant to accept: if there is no war, he can no longer be a hero and will lose his new-found popularity. But seeing a chance to earn glory again, he agrees to team up with the Pigs to take down the Eagles. For the most part, this is heavy weather stuff: Red and his buddies Bomb (McBride) and Chuck (Gad) are not the most winning protagonists, the set-pieces, like a speed dating sequence, fall flat, and a battle of wills between Red and sparky super-smart science geek Silver (Bloom) is predictable.

Alongside the frantic broad strokes, there are funny throwaway gags too.

Things pick up immeasurably when The Angry Birds Movie transforms into a Birds-And-Pigs-On-A-Mission movie, as a motley crew try to infiltrate Zeta’s island and disable the super-weapon. Here we get an assemble-the-team sequence, a mission briefing, a peculiar scene of opera singing in a submarine, Garry the gadget guru (Sterling K. Brown) and lots of Ethan Hunt-styled dangling. Running alongside the main plot is a sub strand involving three hatchlings — baby angry birds knowingly voiced by the children of Nicole Kidman, Viola Davis and Gal Gadot — who have to recapture three eggs that have floated out to sea — it takes in a huge whale, a journey to the stars and a fearsome snake. It eventually and perhaps too conveniently crashes into the main plot, but it has the quality of a good self-contained short, taking an absurd idea and having fun with it.

The obligatory smash-and-grab pop-culture raiding includes The Great Escape, Dawson’s Creek, David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ and Harold Faltermeyer’s ‘Axel F’, which becomes the focus of one too many dance-offs. The best moments involve a giant puppet eagle-cum-Trojan horse used by the gang to enter Zeta’s HQ, including a set-piece of literal toilet humour that ends up more bruising than Mission: Impossible – Fallout’s lavatory-based punch-up. Alongside the frantic broad strokes, there are funny throwaway gags too; Zeta has written a book called ‘Crazy Rich Avians’, a French mime bird voiced by Tony Hale (Toy Story 4’s Forky) registers, and there’s a fun pay-off to a dog-frozen-in-an-ice-block set-up.

Unlike the first film’s dubious-for-a-kids’ film messaging — be wary of foreign strangers; it’s okay to get angry sometimes — the second film stays on safer ground, deconstructing gung-ho macho heroics (Red comes to agree Silver is the brains of the outfit) and persuasively arguing things are always better when we work together. And in these turbulent times, who can disagree with that.

Moving beyond the confines of the app’s premises, The Angry Birds Movie 2 starts slow but flourishes into breezy, colourful fun.
Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us