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Review: ‘Angry Birds’ plays homage to the games, but doesn’t do much to tell its own story

2016-05-20-Angry-Birds-movie-posterBy MARK VIOLA

Our phones have taken over our lives. We all know it. If we’re not taking selfies or checking our Facebook feed, we’re playing games–never at work of course. One of the most popular mobile games over the past several years is “Angry Birds.”

The game’s mechanics are pretty simple. You have birds. You have green pigs. The pigs stole the birds’ eggs. The birds are angry. Using a giant slingshot, you send the birds off to knock out the pigs and rescue the eggs. Repeat the process over countless levels and multiple games.

Now we have “The Angry Birds Movie,” which sets out to tell just how the birds got so angry. I’ve mentioned many times before about how long we’ve been waiting for an actually good video game adaptation. This is already the second adaptation of 2016–with two more remaining–and sadly, we’re still waiting for an actually good video game adaptation.

This film sports a solid voice cast and produces some laughs–the amount of which will be inversely related to your age–but it is hampered by the fact that the game’s mechanics are so simple. They had to save the slingshot action we’re all familiar with until the final act, which forces them to make up two acts of story to tide us over. And when the unending onslaught of bird puns wears thin, there really isn’t much else there to hold up the foundation.

I will say, once the action finally picks up in the third act, it is pretty fun and there is some actually touching moments, but it’s ultimately too little, too late. I’m pretty sure the film will entertain younger audiences, at least it appears to do so in the showing I was in, but I’m pretty sure most of the adults will be quite bored by the time we finally get to the bird slingshot action.

“The Angry Birds” movie is a good one-act story. Unfortunately, it is preceded by two boring acts that could have been cut down and improved, but weren’t.

The movie is rated PG for rude humor and action.

(This is a abbreviated version of the full review available in our printed or e-edition papers.)

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