Video games really don't make very good movies. I think it's been proven by Hollywood time after time again that video games sometimes don't transfer well to the big screen. One of these examples was "The Angry Birds Movie" back from 2016. That film was awful and left me in a sour mood after seeing it. While its animation looked nice, the story had a thin plot, the characters were unlikeable, and the humor was just plain awful. Then when I found out it was getting a sequel, I was dreading the day when it came out. Though luckily, the film got a new director, a new writing team, and the people at Sony Pictures Animation to make it and completely turned it around. "The Angry Birds Movie 2" may not be an amazing animated movie, but it certainly is much better than its predecessor and it is legitimately funny and likable. This was seriously a complete surprise.
The birds and the pigs are still at war after the events of the first film with the birds led by Red (Jason Sudekis), Chuck (Josh Gad), and Bomb (Danny McBride) and the pigs led by Leonard (Bill Hader) and his assistant Courtney (Awkwafina). One day though, a mysterious iceberg is launched at both islands from a crazy eagle named Zeta (Leslie Jones) and put their lives at risk. Hoping to save their people, the birds and pigs declare a truce and Red, Chuck, Bomb, Leonard, and Courtney devise a plan to build a team. Helping along with them is Chuck's smarter younger sister Silver (Rachel Bloom) and Leonard's expert inventor Garry (Sterling K. Brown). From there, the birds and pigs devise a plan so they can destroy Zeta's super-weapon planning on destroying their islands and saving the people who live there.
As I said, I initially was not looking forward to the film both when it was announced and by how unimpressive the trailers looked. Though fortunately, director Thurop Van Orman and the writers Peter Ackerman, Eyal Podell, and Jonathon E. Stewart figured out what went wrong with the first one and decided to fix up most of the problems with the sequel. I was so happy they did as well because this film was pretty funny. The story at least had a focused plot, unlike the first film. It was easy to follow and didn't feel stretched thin and also decided to break away from the video game itself so that way it could be its own movie which was a really good decision. Granted the beginning of the movie does feel like the video game, but it was still fun and led its way to some good jokes. There was also a funny subplot involving some hatchlings trying to get back the eggs that they accidentally lost which made me laugh a few times. It felt like a spiritual successor to Scrat and his acorn from the "Ice Age" films. Speaking of the jokes, the comedy was also seriously improved from the first one. The first one had an over-reliance on unfunny puns and some toilet humor and granted there are some instances of it here, most of the jokes rely on slapstick and Looney Tunes style humor which was a welcome change. It had me laughing pretty hard so many times. As far as the animation goes, it looks fantastic once again. The animation was the only thing I enjoyed about the first film and the crew at Sony did a great job stepping it up. The feathers are very well rendered and the ice island looks simply gorgeous. Ice and snow are very hard to create in computer animation and is something that can come off looking to plastic at times, but it looks very well detailed and shiny here. As far as the characters go, they were also heavily improved from the first one. In the first movie, the characters either came off as stupid, annoying or just plain unpleasant which made it hard to sympathize or like any of them. Here though, the characters were given a huge upgrade and given some likable quirks. Red doesn't come off as a jerk and has understandable reasons for his attitudes, Chuck and Bomb aren't as stupid or annoying as they were and are given some funny moments and do some clever stuff, and even Leonard is made a lot less obnoxious. The new characters were the ones I liked more though. I liked Silver for smart nature while also not being annoying or nerdy. She's very clever and at least knows how to handle the others. Also, Garry and Courtney have some funny lines and are given things to do rather than be more comic reliefs. Though the one I'm surprised by the most was Zeta. It could've been really easy to make this villain annoying if in the wrong hands, but she was handled very well and has an understandable motivation. Also, casting Leslie Jones as she was perfect since she can play crazy characters so well. If there are some things about the film I wasn't huge about, not all of the jokes worked out. Some of them did make me roll my eyes a few time and weren't incredibly funny. Also, I do feel this film could've been shortened by just a few minutes. That's really about it though.
"The Angry Birds Movie 2" is genuinely a fun animated movie and a big surprise. The story was funny and had some great jokes, the animation looked gorgeous, and the characters were likable this time around. It's not often you see a film where the first film sucked but the sequel was legitimately good, but here we are. This might be the first animated movie I've seen that did the trick. Kudos to Sony Pictures Animation and Thurop Van Orman for pulling it off. You made a fun movie.