Not since Lordi won Eurovision have I seen a Finnish creation commercialized and merchandised to the extent that Angry Birds has been. There are Angry Birds pillows, sodas, crisps, clocks, doormats, fishing gear, perfumes... The amount of merchandise I've seen these past few years is insane. And I should know since I buy quite a lot of it. What can I say, I love Angry Birds. Not only have I spent a fair amount of time playing the game on Facebook, but I love the character designs enough to wanna buy merch with the characters on them. And when I first heard that an Angry Birds movie was being developed, I was gitty and intrigued. Now the day is finally upon us - The Angry Birds Movie is a reality, and it's in cinemas.

Now Angry Birds as a game isn't exactly a very complicated concept. A bunch of pigs have stolen some eggs and the birds they stole from are understandably angry, so the birds fire themselves at the pigs with a giant slingshot. Not much of a plot but hey, it's enough to set-up a very simple yet deviously addictive and thoroughly enjoyable little game. In movie form however this concept doesn't really have enough meat to it to carry an hour-and-a-half-long movie unless you add more to it to flesh it out and make it more interesting. The Angry Birds Movie doesn't really do this as it more or less goes about adapting its source material in as straight-forward a manner as it can get away with. The birds in the movie inhabit an island that is visited by pigs, and Red (Jason Sudeikis) - a social outcast with anger issues - is the only bird to suspect that the pigs are up to no good. When Red's suspicions are then proven correct when the pigs make off with all of the birds' eggs, it's up to Red to lead his fellow birds to the world of the pigs to get back the eggs.

As expected, the film's story doesn't have much meat at all to it, and a lot of it, such as the reasoning behind Red's suspicion of the pigs' motives, is sadly underdeveloped. The film gives Red no reason to suspect that the pigs are up to no good - he just automatically assumes that the strangers are a threat and just happens to be proven right later which vindicates him and excuses his prejudice. The film's overall message and moral too, if there is one, seems sort of unclear. Is the moral of the story that it's alright to be angry? Sure, anger is a perfectly normal feeling and it's healthy to feel it sometimes, but I wouldn't say deeming anger an outright good feeling is exactly healthy. Inside Out did all of this a whole lot better with sadness not too long ago.

What The Angry Birds Movie does have going for it though is its characters. The core group of Red, Chuck (Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride), and Terence (Sean Penn) is absolutely fantastic, and I love all these characters. They all have personalities as distinct as their character designs, they're all likable, they have good chemistry, and they're an absolute joy to watch. So even if the plot to the movie these characters are in isn't very good, I can still happily own Angry Birds Movie cups I got at the movie theater with these characters on them because I love these characters. Frankly for more than any other reason it's these characters being so good why I wished the script for this movie was better, because these characters deserve to be in a really good movie with a really good story. Maybe the potential sequel that the movie sort of sets up and hints at during its end credits could be it?

From a visual standpoint The Angry Birds Movie is a very well executed movie though, to be fair. The animation is really good, and the character designs that were already memorable and fun in the game have been given a whole new life as the personalities of the birds come through in their lovable designs. That and when the movie finally brings the game to life during its climax where the birds fire each other at the pigs' city with a giant slingshot, the visuals are genuinely pretty impressive. The game's simple concept lends itself to a lot of creativity and great cinematography with the different birds with their own unique abilities flying through the air, and the film does put this potential to good use. It's kind of a shame though that the scene itself isn't very well constructed as it feels more like an introduction to the different characters in the game than an organically flowing narrative. There's no real flow to the scene - it's just "there's this bird, and then there's this bird, and then there's this bird, and then there's this bird..." And so on and so forth.

Is The Angry Birds Movie a bad movie? No, not at all. It's just not a very good one. But to the film's credit, its characters are still utterly lovable, and the rest of it is just sort of inoffensive and medicore. Kids will no doubt enjoy it and its humor (of which a confusingly large amount is, while never explicit, still sexually suggestive), and adults shouldn't find it too obnoxious or annoying. It's no Pixar movie, but it's certainly passable for what it is. I do still wanna see more of these characters - just in a better movie next time. But even if the movie had the potential to be a lot better than it was, certainly it still could've been a whole lot worse.