It takes a lot to offend me nowadays, given the hard-skinned approach toward movies that we all must, of necessity, develop as media consumers. However, I became an angry bird myself while watching the eponymous movie on its opening weekend.
Like any kid movie, Angry Birds contains the expected inane humor suited to an adolescent and pre-adolescent crowd. The first part of the movie served up the regular fare: things blowing up in faces, huge rocks falling on people (or birds rather), lots of characters falling off heights and getting run over, etc. You know the routine. Movies marketed to this demographic also contain bathroom humor, but I must say that I was totally unprepared for the offensive bathroom humor that came half way into the movie.
The three angry bird protagonists climbed a mountain to search out and find the Mighty Eagle who was supposed to save them from the invading green pigs. When these characters arrived at the summit, where the Eagle’s eyrie was supposed to be, they found what looked like a pristine lake. They swam in it, played in it, drank from it, and felt the power of its magical vigor, until the Eagle woke up from his sanctuary, which turned out to be a cave in a high rock face. When Mighty Eagle walked out to the edge of the rock cliff overlooking the lake, the three birds huddled behind a rock in awe of the majestic Eagle, who at that point spread his glorious wings as if he were ready to bellow out an ear-piercing war cry, but proceeded to urinate instead off the cliff into the crystal clear lake.
The audience views the Eagle urinating from behind with a stream as strong and yellow as the Eagle was mighty.
The effect of this gross display on the audience of families with very young kids was palpably and sickeningly tense. I can’t remember hearing any adult laughter, though there may have been some. I was too disgusted to pay a whole lot of attention to the adults, but I did take note of a spattering of laugher from a few of the kids cascading nervously through the crowd. There wasn’t a shred of sincerity in the laughter, just the nervous, awkward, uncomfortable sounds that kids let out when they don’t know what to make of something that is innately embarrassing to them.
The display of attempted humor was bad enough, but then the “stream” went on, and on, and on, perhaps for fifteen or twenty seconds. I didn’t time it, mostly because I walked out of the movie at that point. As I was getting as far away from this nonsense as I could, my only thought was, “Those poor kids. Why should they have to be exposed to that?” It was one of those shake-your-head experiences that you can only hope to purge from memory in time – or write an article about and urge others to avoid.
An otherwise clever movie was destroyed by the uncanny talent of the modern entertainment industry to continually explore new depths of twisted culture.