Considering its source material—a.k.a. the app located somewhere to the right of realtime weather and Candy Crush Saga on your smartphone—Angry Birds could be a whole lot worse. Building on the game’s bare-bones premise (see bird; slingshot bird into pig fortress for points; repeat), the 3-D animated film delivers a mildly diverting mix of winky meta-jokes and moral lessons, cannily aimed at both the next generation of tiny consumers and their more sophisticated parents.
Jason Sudeikis lends his voice to Red, a squat crimson ball of avian rage: Everything from rude sneezers to slow crosswalks makes his feathered fists clench and his eyebrows knit like mad charcoal briquettes. He’s a lonely little jerk, an odd bird out, but his cynicism also leads him to rightly suspect an arriving squadron of pea green swine (led by Bill Hader’s lugubrious Leonard) of having less-than-friendly intentions. They say they come in peace, but what they really want is to steal the community’s eggs and eat them all because they’re, well, pigs. Can Red step up and save the day before the island’s future offspring are turned into omelets? Can the audience endure 1,001 pork puns and flock-you cracks in the interim? The answer to both questions is a solid-enough yes that Birds won’t likely be the last app-to-movie adaptation. Your move, Candy Crush. B