Yes, it's a movie about a video game; an app. You don't need to be up on all the birds' names and characteristics, but it helps make the movie more enjoyable. You are introduced to the main Angry Birds characters and the whole community of Bird Island (who remind me of the Lotus Eaters, but never mind). Nicely done, Rovio.
There is a nice set up for both the movie and game premise. We will overlook the comedic but oddly unnecessary heroic eagle character who has no counterpart in the game. The ending of the movie, however deals with him rather neatly.
The piggies arrive. They are gleeful. We the audience know they are wicked: cowboy hats, chaps, trampolines and all. I enjoyed the setup. It feels true to the games and doesn't try to be too clever. It does not take too long.
There are explosions! Egg nappings en masse! Weeping parents who ended up at a loss as to what to feel or do next. The angry characters and the whole Angry Birds backstory suddenly made a lot of sense. I felt like the gang at Rovio saw Inside Out and became inspired (although I know this is probably not what happened).
Spoilers (and come on, you probably already know this is going to happen)....
The Sacking of Piggie Island is glorious. I have rarely seen James so animated, so gleeful!! He spent about 20 minutes jumping around in his seat with elation, laughing and stimming with "Eeeeeeee!", punctuated with "Did you see that, Mother?! What is your favourite part?" I thought the destruction of the Piggie Town was well and lovingly executed. You can just tell the entire team took pride in demolishing the structures following the spirit of the games.
The ending, as previously stated, was well done. Not over-the-top sweet and very satisfying. We stayed all the way through the credits. James *wanted* to stay for the credits. They were fun too.
- Not too loud soundtrack (which is amazing these days).
- No swearing (although there are plenty of innuendos for the grown ups).
- Characters got upset but they did not make James upset, which is a neat trick.
- Main characters all got into trouble and had consequences. Very familiar for kids and well handled, I thought. This also can be a trigger for James and it was not for this movie.
- Lots of visual gags and painted puns -- they expect their audience to be quick and on the lookout for fun stuff.
Full disclosure - you get an up close (from the back) view of the eagle peeing off a cliff for over a minute. James could not figure that one out and I finally had to tell him I'd have to explain later. Get you potty humour scripts ready, folks!
Five out of five gold eggs! Check it out and enjoy some family time together!