‘An­gry Birds’ face an­grier en­emy in an­i­mated se­quel

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Crossword Puzzle - BY JAY BOBBIN

A movie based on a pop­u­lar gam­ing app might seem like a money grab to get young au­di­ences where they live, but “The An­gry Birds Movie” fared pretty well at the box of­fice ... thus en­sur­ing that we now get “The An­gry Birds Movie 2.”

For those who fear the mal­ady known as “se­quel-itis,” which af­flicts us with se­quels that re­ally aren’t nec­es­sary, this ac­tu­ally isn’t a bad fol­low-up. That might not be the high­est praise pos­si­ble, but at least this is cre­ative and en­ter­tain­ing enough to keep you from feel­ing you’ve sim­ply fallen prey to a plot to get you to open your wal­let or purse at the box of­fice.

The voice cast is largely a “Saturday Night Live” who’s-who led by “An­gry Birds Movie” re­turnee Ja­son Sudeikis as Red, who de­bates join­ing the res­i­dents of Pig Is­land – for­merly the birds’ en­e­mies – to mount an op­po­si­tion to an ea­gle brigade that is tar­get­ing the hogs and has the birds next on its list.

Red and pig leader Leonard, voiced by fel­low “SNL” alum Bill Hader, then as­sem­ble a team to mount a de­fense based on the re­cruits’ spe­cial skills ... sort of like “The Mag­nif­i­cent Seven,” one of the amus­ing nods that the film­mak­ers make to clas­sic sto­ries here.

Josh Gad, Les­lie Jones, Maya Ru­dolph, “Crazy ExGirl­friend’s” Rachel Bloom and Peter Din­klage (“Game of Thrones”) also have sig­nif­i­cant voice roles, mak­ing for a neat as­sort­ment of sounds. And the com­put­er­ized an­i­ma­tion is unique enough to set this apart from so many other en­tries in the genre lately.

As suc­cess­ful as many apps are, try­ing to de­velop their char­ac­ters and con­cepts into fea­ture-length films is a very par­tic­u­lar chal­lenge. A game on a phone, com­puter screen or other de­vices doesn’t re­quire a full back story, yet the one de­vel­oped by moviemak­ers has to stay true enough to the char­ac­ters to seem like a log­i­cal ex­ten­sion. “The An­gry Birds Movie 2” achieves that, de­spite it be­ing no sim­ple feat, and also does it in a way that can ap­peal to view­ers who don’t even know what an app is. (Yes, such in­di­vid­u­als do ex­ist, hard to be­lieve though that may be.)

Maybe the best thing about “The An­gry Birds Movie 2” is that it won’t make you an­gry about pay­ing to see a se­quel that wasn’t needed. The pic­ture is en­joy­able in its own right – about the birds, but not for the birds.

“The An­gry Birds Movie 2”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.