Here we go with the game-based movies again, and I’m not even talking about the more sophisticated kind of games like Lara Croft or Warcraft (which I heard are already getting bad reviews). At least in those games, there are character development arcs, excitement or a coherent storyline. This is a movie based on repeated flinging of birds against pigs. I am more amazed they managed to stretch that premise into a full movie; it’s a game more appropriately used for Physics classes than in cinemas.
Yet it worked. Sort of. Despite performing better than expected, it’s really a hit-or-miss movie. The hits probably come from people with very low expectation. I personally rather like it, although it was probably because I went in with negative expectation, i.e. I braced myself to downright hate it.
The protagonist of the story is Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis), a cynical, annoyed bird living among happy, hippie birds. He was brought to court when he was sued for an ‘accident’, and ordered to go for anger management class. There, he met the speedy Chuck (Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride) and Terence (Sean Penn in probably his easiest role ever). When the nefarious green pigs arrived supposedly on friendly terms, everyone was won over. Except the ever-cynical Red, that is.
Okay, confession right off the bat: I can identify with Red. In fact, I find him to be the most logical, practical among all the other birds, and I definitely relate to his sense of suspicion and cynicism. Also, he’s a loner who refuses to be hugged, so there’s that. As for the plot, it was obvious that the writers really struggled to cobble up something coherent. If you can just turn off your brain and ignore the convenient second-order-idiot plot, it almost works.
This is a movie that relies on its humour to pull through, and sadly, like the movie itself, it’s a very hit-or-miss affair. I enjoyed the bird and pig-related puns, lame as they are, as well as a few well-placed Easter eggs. However, I certainly do not appreciate the crass, bodily fluid jokes, or the sexist ones. An extended scene showing one of the characters taking a piss? A few segments involving bird excrement and snot? Spying at a lady taking a dip? Nope, nope and nope.
In the end, this is a movie that’s worth the price of your ticket only if you get a discount for it (which I did). It’s enough to buy one and a half hours of escapism, but with its forgettable plot and jokes, that’s as far as it goes.