If you haven’t already heard, the film adaptation of the popular Ratchet and Clank video games has been receiving negative reviews. This feels like a giant waste of potential, much like all the other terrible video game movies out there. However, less than a month later, it appears that Sony will be tossing their hat into the ring of video game adaptations with The Angry Birds Movie.
Most audience members have agreed that The Angry Birds Movie announcement feels a little late to the party and could be nothing more than an attempt by Rovio Entertainment to reinvigorate fandom towards their franchise. In 2014, the company suffered a 73% decrease in game sale profits, and a 43% loss in merchandise sales. In 2015, 260 worldwide employees were laid off from the company. There have been several Angry Bird spin-offs/sequels since the explosion of the original’s popularity, such as Angry Birds Star Wars and the recent Angry Birds Action! Since the dip in popularity, however, few titles have managed to even come half way towards what the fandom used to be.
So there’s no real argument that the movie is a giant cash grab and an attempt to bring new light to a once beloved series of games, but will that ultimately matter if The Angry Birds Movie is a GOOD cash grab? People often forget that beloved franchises such as the Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons were created specifically just to sell toys. It’s almost entirely guaranteed that The Angry Birds Movie will spawn some sort of merchandising resurgence, whether by customer demand or corporate supply, so it all whittles down to whether or not the content we are provided in this upcoming flick is of a great enough quality or not.
The good news is that, unlike the trailer for the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot (which was officially declared the most disliked movie trailer in YouTube history,) the reception towards the Angry Birds Movie trailers have been mostly positive. With actors like Jason Sudeikis, Keegan Michael Key, and Bill Hader thrown into the mix, not to mention the family-oriented brand of humor inclusive to children and adults, this film could very well end up being a great video game movie.
However, as noted before, video game movies are rarely (if ever) considered to be good. It needs to be stated that the directors for this feature are newcomers, with The Angry Birds Movie being their feature debut into the director’s chair. If that wasn’t a red flag in itself, the writer behind the Angry Birds‘ feature film debut was also responsible for the first two Alvin and the Chipmunks movies.
Yet, what could end up being the film’s biggest downfall is how much has already been revealed in the trailers. So far, the biggest action point the trailers have offered us is when the birds have to go get their eggs back from the pigs. Other than that, the scenes have mostly been humor driven. While good jokes are always a plus in comedic trailers, it could end up being all The Angry Birds Movie is about: the jokes. There needs to be a reason to keep audience members invested in the narrative, whether it’s great characters or suspenseful action sequences, and so far the trailers have given us very little of either. Characters such as Bomb and Chuck are mostly detailed by their mannerisms featured from the video games with Chuck being hyper and Bomb having the ability to explode. Up to this point, only Red’s portrayal has changed, and even that’s mostly just your typical “reject finding his place” backdrop.
However, through it all, I would be more than happy to see The Angry Birds Movie become a critical and financial success. Only time will tell if the flick will serve as the resurgence Rovio Entertainment desperately wants, but until then, all we can do is watch the clips and judge for ourselves.
The Angry Birds Movie releases on May 20th. If you’re interested in seeing clips from the upcoming feature, be sure to check out the Angry Birds official YouTube page here.