Like most people, when I heard there was going to be a film based on Angry Birds, a mobile game that was popular five years ago, my eyes rolls so far into the back of my head that I could see my brain, which now felt slightly dumber. I also had no idea how it was ever going to work. As the cast came together I got a little bit more hope, but in animation, a host of big names is hardly a guarantee. Add to all of this the fact that video game adaptations don’t exactly have a solid track record, and really this should be a mess.

Red (Jason Sudeikis) is a bird with anger issues, who lives on Bird Island. After a public outburst, he’s sent to anger management where he meets Chuck (Josh Gad), a yellow bird, and Bomb (Danny McBride), a big round black bird. One day out of the blue, some green pigs turn up with a message of peace, but it seems a little bit too good to be true. Seemingly the only one to see what’s really happening, Red gets his two new friends together in an attempt to uncover the truth, and expose the pigs for what they really are.

Angry Birds Review

So, this plot isn’t exactly complicated, but neither is the plot from the game, and that’s where this film really succeeds. This might sound like a bad thing, but this is an incredibly faithful adaptation, and it goes to great lengths to honour every aspect of the game so many people love. I was really surprised at just how many times I found myself laughing or even just noticing the sheer number of references that are made to the game, and they don’t stop until the credits are rolling.

It’s not just the references that are funny either. There are a lot of jokes, and while some of them are made for kids (why are there always musical numbers in animated films these days?), there’s a lot of clever humour for adults, and of course some great slapstick. The cast also do well to elevate the material, and all three leads, as well as the rest of the recognisable names treat this with respect. This should be a terrible mess which could only be enjoyed by brain-dead children, as it is, some parents might end up enjoying this film more than the kids they take.