Review – Flipping This Sequel the Bird (“The Angry Birds Movie 2”)

Don’t ya hate it when your worst enemy becomes your only ally? Yeah, that’s an overused movie trope (Catch Me If You Can, Star Trek Into Darkness, etc), and now it’s with animated birds! In this sequel to the 2016 hit movie, it looks like those angry birds and those pesky porkers have to team up to fight a common enemy.
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This film follows the events of the first movie, where angry bird Red (Jason Sudeikis) helped lead a rebellion against the green pigs from Piggy Island, who came to steal their eggs. Piggy Island, was destroyed by the sheer force of the birds attack, is now rebuilt, but still waging a prank war with Bird Island. Red, now reformed and considered a hero (and relishing it with delight) receives a truce from that swine, King Leonard (Bill Hader). Looks like a third island (frozen-over snow-covered Eagle Island) is threatening Piggy Island by hurling gigantic ice balls at their cities and soon they’ll attack Bird Island as well. But who’s behind this attack and why?
 
Piggy recon reveals that Zeta (Leslie Jones), a Philippine eagle, is behind the diabolical attacks. She wants to destroy the cities of both islands so that the birds & pigs there will evacuate, thus making her dreams (and the dreams of all her fellow eagles) of living on a tropical island come true. But, they’re eagles. . .why can’t they just FLY over to Bird Island? I dunno. Anyway, Red agrees to join forces with Leonard and his crack-team to stop Zeta. Along for the piggy-submarine ride is Red’s buddies: super-fast Chuck (Josh Gad), his incredibly smart sister Silver (Rachel Bloom), dim-bulb Bomb (Danny McBride), and cowardly Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), who happens to be Zeta’s ex-fiancé! Awkward!
 
As this scenario of stopping Zeta and her destructive ice-ball hurling weapon of mass destruction plays out, there’s a secondary story of three little baby bird hatchlings who, while playing a game with some eggs, accidentally loses them out to sea. They go on a wild and dangerous adventure to rescue them that even takes the little birdies to outer space. Actually, their story at times is funnier than the main story. Meanwhile, once our heroes reach Eagle Island, Red’s massive ego gets the better of him and won’t allow Silver (the obviously intelligent one) to help out. Typical man, amiright?
 
But, as the forced and heavy-handed message shows, Red is stupid, narcissistic, sociopathic, and a control freak while Silver is kind, gentle, super-smart, quick-witted, and empowered. Silver saves the day, while Red learns a valuable lesson in being a dick to others. . .oh yes, and the islands are saved as well. Yaay. No where near as funny (or punny) as the first movie, this lame and cash-grab screenplay by Peter Ackerman (Ice Age), and first-timer’s Eyal Podell & Jonathan E. Stewart has only a few genuine laughs and sight gags. Loaded with all kinds of butt jokes, you can tell how lazy the writing is. Whereas the first movie’s plot was mostly about Red’s severe anger management, this one just has just him being a jerk with an added frenemies trope. *Yawn*
 

It’s clear that the writers weren’t interested in stuff like the plot, development, character, continuity, or just plain LOGIC, as it’s SO filled with holes and ex machinas that you just give up on trying to understand anything after the first ten minutes. Yes, I KNOW it’s for kids, but even children’s movies can be smart & silly and still manage NOT be a waste of time (uh, hello… Pixar anyone?). Now, I’ll admit I’m a HUGE fan of the Angry Birds game app, and the first movie was funny, crazy, and out-there. But you can tell that nobody put any real effort into this sequel. It’s even Mark “Thurop” Van Orman’s first directorial gig, as he’s usually a storyboard artist & V/O artist. Yeah, that tells you alot.

Enemy Mine (1985)
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It’s the late 21st century and an interstellar war is raging between humans and “Dracs” (a reptilian-humanoid race). Space battles are fought constantly and one day, pilot Willis E. Davidge (Dennis Quaid) shoots down a Drac pilot called Jeriba Shigan (Louis Gosset, jr–unrecognizable in heavy prosthetic make-up), and they both crash land on planet Fyrine IV, an alien world with two moons, breathable atmosphere, water, native fauna, and a hostile environment.

Alone and no one to rescue either one, they have to learn to cooperate if they want to survive… even though they want to kill each other at first. The Drac calls Willis “Davishhh” and Willis refers to the Drac as “Jerry”. They work together to build a shelter for protection against constant nasty meteorite showers and eventually learn each others language and philosophies. Over the next three years, they become close friends and even save each others lives several times. Willis even learns a terrible hidden secret: Dracs are being used as slave labor by humans!

Jerry soon gives birth to a son (they’re asexual, btw) who he names Zammis. But Jerry dies soon afterwards and Willis raises the boy as his own, promising Jerry to end the Drac slave labor travesty and raise Zammis as a Drac, not a human. Of course, one day a rescue ship arrives and Willis and Zammis are saved, but not without major consequences. Thought MIA and dead, Willis is reinstated as a pilot, but young Zammis is thrown into a labor camp. Willis goes nuts, steals a ship and tries to find “his son”, causing a rebellion between the Dracs and humans… but for a good reason!

With a fine script by Edward Khmara, director Wolfgang Peterson (In The Line Of Fire, as Boot) has a good time with this sci-fi/fantasy, making it so much like a made-for-TV movie, that it was an instant crowd pleaser. This was largely due in part to the chemistry between the two leads, Quaid and Gosset, jr. There was no doubt they sold the story and set-up, but mostly because of Gosset, jr’s rather unique ability to speak in ‘Drac-talk’, i.e., “gargling underwater”. By modulating his voice, Gosset, jr. warbled his voice so that his dialogue came out alien-like! No SPFX or sound-enhancements needed. Pretty neat, huh?

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