Published May 20, 2016How do you turn a video game with no real narrative and characters that are known more commonly by their colours than actual names into a movie? You don't, but Rovio Entertainment — the folks behind the so-simple-it's-stupid mobile game sensation Angry Birds and its many offspring — were bold enough to do just that. The result is a children's movie that's so forgettable and unfunny it's bound to go the way of the dodo and be wiped away from people's memories in no time.
Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis plays Red, a children's entertainer who is forced to take anger management classes after smashing a birthday cake into a parent at a party and inadvertently hatching one of their eggs. It's there that he meets Chuck (Josh Gad) and Bomb (Danny McBride), a.k.a. the torpedo-like Angry Bird and the one that blows stuff up in the game. Both are, like Red, seen as unfit members of society.
When Leonard (Bill Hader), a green pig from a far off land, docks his ship on the birds' island and begins to make friends with the community, Red has a hunch something is amiss and discovers his arrival (along with a secret stowaway of thousands of pigs) is all part of a master plan to harvest their eggs and eat them.
If this plot sounds as half baked as a cookie from an Easy-Bake Oven, there's a reason for that: the story was written by Jon Vitti, whose recent claim to fame is having written those awful Alvin and the Chipmunks movies lazy programmers throw on YTV at 2 a.m. to fill space.
With such a heavy-hitting cast made up of SNL stars (Maya Rudolph and Kate McKinnon lend their talents) and Academy Award winners (Sean Penn is in this movie, although you'd never know unless you looked at his IMDB page), it almost feels like you're watching the 1998 Home Run Derby played out with a bunch of uncooked hot dogs for bats and cinder blocks for balls: the players are all there, but something essential is missing (in this case, a good story and funny jokes, and don't even get me started on the film's bizarre xenophobic message).
None of this, of course, should be too surprising: after all, this is a movie based on a video game people play while using the toilet.