Once you put pay to the fact that this film franchise is riding on the back of an addictive game which had little-to-no narrative in itself, you come to enjoy the vibrant and amusing world that has been created around the Angry Birds characters. Each of the characters have been given personality, mannerisms, quirks, and even a few catch-phrases. In this case, the sequel – which has always been the nemesis for film producers – works hugely in Angry Birds 2’s favour. It gives the writers a foundation to build on rather than plucking (no pun intended) plot ideas from thin game-play air.
This film continues the on-going grudge between Bird Island with, what is believed to be the only other island in existence, Piggie Island. However when a third icy Island shows up blasting ice bombs about, Red (Jason Sudeikis), Chuck (Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride), and Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) are called to action and much to Red’s dislike, have to agree to a truce with the Pigs exuberant leader Leonard (Bill Hader) and agree to a joint mission to save both Islands.
Building on Red’s character traits, that we’ve come to know from the first film, this truce doesn’t sit well with Red’s constant need to be the hero and therefore be liked. A series of flash blacks are used to delve into Red’s past where we see both humorous and heart-breaking snippets of his former self. In fact, flash backs become an important part of the movie’s premise giving context and padding to plot progression. There were lots of laughs around montages of Mighty Eagle in his hey day, the 90s, with the Dawson’s Creek theme tune playing. The 90’s references are hilarious “Flockbusters” being the video store of choice back then.
The gaggle of protagonists which now include Chuck’s annoyingly smart sister Silver (Rachel Bloom), Leonard’s millennial teen assistant Courtney (Awkwafina), and Garry the “Q”-esque tech pig (Sterling K. Brown), set out on a very loosely planned mission to destroy the Ice blaster and defeat the evil Zeta (Leslie Jones). Zeta, a spurned eagle, has had enough of living on her own frozen island which is complete with its own fish-stealing and winking comedy seal. Her screams of “Don’t you dare wink at me!” are inevitably rewarded with the manga-styled sweet-eyed seal winking and flopping down an ice hole, much to the delight of the child audience.
Several moments are laugh-out-loud funny for both adults and children; silly toilet humour, brake-dancing eagle dance offs, awkward and prolonged sibling tickling scenes to name a few, All of which go make this film enjoyable and, in my opinion, funnier than the first film. Adults are kept amused by the odd adult reference that catapults over the heads of the younger audience, Red being accused of having a “resting bird face” had us sniggering. The film concludes with a happy ending despite three gorgeously cute chicks drifting out to sea – I smell another sequel on the horizon.
All in all, with a summer of punchy live action re-makes like Aladdin and The Lion King and well known film franchise heavyweights like Toy Story 4 still on the big screens, Angry Birds 2 could well get over looked, but we genuinely enjoyed the film and are already being pestered to see it again – surely that’s the mark of a good children’s film that’s landed on target?