For this blog, I review movies with an emphasis on the characters and comedy.
The main character of Angry Birds is named Red, and he is voiced by actor Jason Sudeikis. He is presented as a bird with a short temper who is sentenced in court to go to anger management class. For me, he wasn’t so much as angry, as understandably disgruntled. He simply reacts to things that would make most anyone angry. As the film develops, there are events when you would expect him to loose his mind with anger, and he doesn’t. He looks sad. The film makers put way too much thought into the psychology of Red. By showing all his complicated feelings up front, it reduces his entertainment value.
What you want is “funny angry.”
I would much rather see a character who doesn’t care what the others think, a character who accepts his own anger. In my book, I use the term “comic sociopath.” That is someone who doesn’t try to fit in to make people happy. When we laugh with them, we secretly admire their freedom from the rules. The most obvious comparison is the character of Anger from Inside Out. First up, the casting of Lewis Black for Anger was pure genius. Black’s acting persona has anger built into it, and I am sure he inspired the writers and directors during production.
Since Black was so recently used, he was out of the question. I might have suggested Adam Sandler, who could bring his Happy Gilmore angry dude voice with him. But if it were me, I would have wanted John Goodman, who was so great as Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski.
Jason Sudeikis typically plays mild characters, so he was not a good choice. I wish animated film makers didn’t take any celebrity voice who agrees.
In my opinion, if the word “angry” is in the title, the angry behavior should be raised to an art form. The expression of anger should be unique. If I bring up the Three Stooges, you should instantly have an image of how Moe expresses his irritation. Just think about Yosemite Sam, or Daffy Duck when he’s in a competition with Bugs Bunny. And for angry animated characters, let’s not forget this bird.
That’s funny anger.
Overall, I found the pace of the movie tiring. Also, this movie is talky. Really talky. It was constant verbosity. They seemed to want to squeeze in every possible joke. Even during the big action sequences, they would have to stop for comments. Combined with sound effects and music people all competing to put in as much as possible, it was all very loud. However, during the “peeing in the pool” segment, there was actually a quiet moment where the reaction shots were not huge and over the top, and I actually laughed a little. Physical comedy often succeeds when played out in silence.