The Angry Birds Movie 2 –new films coming to Portsmouth cinemas

Grab the popcorn for these new releases.

Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 11:48 am
Updated Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 12:28 pm
Courtney (voiced by Awkwafina), Chuck (Josh Gad), Leonard (Bill Hader), Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), Silver (Rachel Bloom), Red (Jason Sudeikis) and Bomb (Danny McBride) in The Angry Birds Movie 2 (U). Picture: PA.

The Angry Birds Movie 2

Directed by Thurop Van Orman and John Rice, computer-animated caper The Angry Birds Movie 2 feathers its nest with an achingly predictable journey of self-discovery and timely lessons about collaboration and acceptance across the cultural divide.

While the original film, released in 2016, felt like a glossy promotional tool for the puzzle-oriented games created by Finnish company Rovio Entertainment, the sequel has the freedom to invent its own stories and colourful supporting characters.

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It's disappointing that the screenwriters don't seize this opportunity and rely on obvious visual gags to embellish a linear narrative that lacks dramatic tension or jeopardy, even when cute birds are being pelted with balls of molten lava.

The script seldom plays to the strengths of a starry cast of gifted comic performers including new arrivals Awkwafina, Tiffany Haddish and Leslie Jones, and they respond with muted vocal performances that barely take flight.

Residents of Bird Island and Pig Island are locked in a war of attrition and pranks.

Feathered heroes use a giant slingshot to propel a bottle of hot sauce across the sea that separates the two communities and their porcine adversaries retaliate by dropping hundreds of angry crabs from a flotilla of airships.

Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis), speedy livewire Chuck (Josh Gad) and self-combusting worrywart Bomb (Danny McBride) spearhead the birds' efforts to stay one cluck ahead of the pigs' rotund leader, Leonard (Bill Hader), and his second-in-command Courtney (Awkwafina).

These frenemies are shocked to discover the existence of a third colony, the frozen wasteland of Eagle Island, where embittered ruler Zeta (Jones) and her daughter Debbie (Haddish) are plotting to overthrow birds and pigs using a steam-powered superweapon.

Consequently, Red assembles a crack team for a daring mission to Eagle Island, which includes Chuck's inventor sister Silver (Rachel Bloom) and Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), who has good reason to fear Zeta's wrath.

The Angry Birds Movie 2 is punctuated sparingly with broad slapstick like Bomb's hilarious attempt to sneak unnoticed past eagle guards but there are noticeably fewer giggles than the first film. 

Released August 2.  

 

Fast & Furious: Hobbs and Shaw (12A)

Turbo-charged action thriller The Fast And The Furious starring Vin Diesel and Paul Walker revved its engine in 2001. 

Two final films in the series will shift into top gear in summer 2020 and 2021.

In the meantime, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham flex their muscles as (un)friendly rivals in this testosterone-fuelled spin-off, which was filmed on location in London and Glasgow.

Former British Special Forces operative turned assassin-for-hire Deckard Shaw (Statham) answers a call from his mother (Dame Helen Mirren) to assist his little sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby).

She is a crack MI6 agent, who is on the trail of rogue operative Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), who has enhanced his body with the latest cybergenetic advancements to attain superhuman strength and speed. A shootout on the streets of London brings federal agent Luke Hobbs (Johnson) to the capital and he confirms that Lore is in possession of a deadly biological agent, which could trigger a global extinction.

As humanity's fate hangs in the balance, Hobbs and Shaw are compelled to put their differences aside to wage war on Lore and his gun-toting underlings by land, sea and air.

Out now. 

 

The Lion King (PG)

Director Jon Favreau employs the same photorealistic computer wizardry which served him well for The Jungle Book to transport us to the sun-baked savanna for a virtually word-for-word remake of The Lion King. 

Consequently, scheming uncle Scar is no longer a scene-stealing pantomime villain, his Machiavellian call to arms Be

Prepared loses the goosestepping hyenas, and the Busby Berkeley style fantasia of I Just Can't Wait To Be King is now a scamper around a watering hole.

Audiences unfamiliar with the 1994 animation may consider Favreau's picture to be king of the cinematic jungle. For me, the beautifully imperfect original reigns supreme.

Out now. 

 

Pavarotti (PG)

Near the beginning of Ron Howard’s documentary, which incorporates footage from concerts and interviews to recount Luciano Pavarotti’s journey in his own words, the ebullient Italian tenor is asked to imagine his legacy. 

There are plenty of reasons to grin at Howard’s affectionate portrait of flawed musical genius, which loudly celebrate the qualities which elevated a baker’s son from Modena to the dizzy heights of global superstardom. Pavarotti’s well documented faults are largely glossed over before Bono offers his typically forthright opinion on the appeal of Pavarotti. Howard’s entertaining film treads too lightly to break anything, certainly not fans’ hearts.

Out now.