‘The Angry Birds Movie 2’ is a repetitive retread of themes about friendship, with more immature humor thrown in.
Kernel Rating: 2 out of 5
MPAA Rating: PG Length: 96 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 8+. This sequel to ‘The Angry Birds Movie’ continues the rivalry between the birds and pigs and introduces a new villain, who uses ice and lava to attack the animals’ respective islands. Some scenes of destruction are shown; characters are tortured in the snow or burned by lava; and there is a lot of slapstick violence played for laughs, including a character having his teeth knocked out on a urinal. The scene at the urinal is also a bit uncomfortable, with a character feeling as if another is looking at him inappropriately, and the scene is played for laughs; there is a lot of bathroom humor, including jokes about urination and diarrhea; some romantically themed content, including a scene where a character suffers through speed dating, another where a brother threatens someone for being interested in his sister, a crush between two characters, some off-screen kissing, and a surprise child revealed to a character who did not know of their existence. Also some insults and implied cursing.
By Roxana Hadadi
In “The Angry Birds Movie,” Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) confronted his feelings of loneliness and inadequacy and made new friends by realizing that he didn’t need to feel angry all the time. In “The Angry Birds Movie 2,” Red confronts his feelings of loneliness and inadequacy and makes new friends by realizing that he doesn’t need to be in charge all the time. Those are very minute differences, and the other changes this sequel offers don’t do much to differentiate it from the preceding film.
When “The Angry Birds Movie 2” starts, Red is in a mostly good place. After saving Bird Island in the preceding film, he’s treated as a hero, and he takes it upon himself to continue acting as such. He protects the Hatchlings, he guards people at the beach, and he’s become a leader. Meanwhile, Piggy Island, which was somewhat destroyed in the previous film’s events, is still smarting over their defeat. Ruler Leonard (voiced by Bill Hader) is launching a prank onslaught against Bird Island, and although he and Red aren’t quite enemies anymore, they’re also not quite friends.
That changes when a gigantic ice sphere crashes into Piggy Island, causing Leonard to ask Red for a truce and help in determining who is attacking them. And so Leonard and Red learn about the mysterious third island, Eagle Island, where Mighty Eagle (voiced by Peter Dinklage) is afraid to go—what is he hiding? And what will the team put together by Leonard and Red, which includes the super-fast Chuck (voiced by Josh Gad), the literally explosive Bomb (voiced by Danny McBride), Leonard’s assistant Courtney (voiced by Awkwafina), Piggy Island’s tech guy Garry (voiced by Sterling K. Brown), and Chuck’s sister, the extremely smart engineering student Silver (voiced by Rachel Bloom), encounter when they sneak onto the island to try and stop the attack on their homes?
“The Angry Birds Movie 2” moves the action from Piggy and Bird Islands to mostly follow the team, and although that helps develop a new addition like Silver, who is presented as an unapologetic female character into STEM, it also means the film pads out certain scenes with unnecessary insults and bathroom humor. The movie resorts to violent slapstick, labels like “stupid” and “idiot,” and jokes about bathroom functions and bodily fluids, and one scene in particular that involves a character mimicking urinating with their mouth is more gross than funny. Similarly, the movie relies often on songs to move scenes forward, and while that’s sometimes fun (a breakdance battle isn’t unique to an animated family film, but it’s humorous here), it makes the film repetitive after a while.
What is most disappointing, though, is how the film develops Zeta (voiced by Leslie Jones), the villain the team needs to stop. Zeta is power-hungry and maniacal, and Jones adds a lot of verve to her vocal performance; she’s a nice counter to the more sarcastic Sudeikis. But her motivations, which are tied to romantic rejection, are stereotypical and belittling for a female character. It’s nice that the ensemble now includes Silver, but Zeta is a misstep.
Younger viewers will laugh at some of the film’s more juvenile humor, like when Laurence is burned by lava and another character mentions smelling bacon, and when we see various nude pig behinds. And one of those subplots, which focuses on the Hatchlings trying to reclaim a trio of eggs they’ve lost, is legitimately quite funny (until it’s implied that the three of them kill and skin a snake). Although “The Angry Birds Movie 2” does deliver a final message about the importance of friendship and teamwork, its consistent use of bathroom humor, insults, and crass jokes to get there is a drag.
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