Movie reviews: 'Angry Birds Movie 2,' 'Stuber,' 'Unplanned'

Fred Hawson

Posted at Aug 26 2019 04:35 PM

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2

Watch more in iWantTFC

When ice cannonballs from Eagle Island landed and caused damage on Piggy Island and Bird Island. King Leonard (Bill Hader) of the Pigs sought to form an alliance with Red (Jason Sudekis) of the Birds to form a team to stop the Eagles' crazy vindictive leader Zeta (Leslie Jones) from launching further attacks. Bomb (Danny McBride), Chuck (Josh Gad) and his engineering genius sister Silver (Rachel Bloom) made up Red's team. Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) initially joined Red's group, but he withdrew at the last minute because of deeply personal reasons. 

This is another one of those movies where the overly revealing trailer sapped the full enjoyment of the actual film by featuring practically all the best gags. Those hilarious silly moments will still make you chuckle but you've seen them before already so the impact was considerably less funny. 

The eclectic musical soundtrack went from "Axel F" to "Baby Shark," and old-school pop hits by Bonnie Tyler, Eric Carmen, Sarah McLachlan, Paula Cole, Survivor and Europe in between. That breakdance showdown scene was too hilarious. 

The humor and story may be annoyingly juvenile for adults, but the animation (especially of the hatchlings and piglets) was cute and the voice work of the all-star comedian cast was on point.

STUBER

Watch more in iWantTFC

Stu Prasad (Kumail Nanjiani) was a guy bullied in career and in love. He sidelined as an Uber driver. LAPD detective Vic Manning (Dave Bautista) finally got a major tip about the whereabouts of the gangster who killed his partner months ago. However, it just so happened that he just had laser surgery on his eyes that morning, so he could barely see anything making driving impossible. So, Vic had no choice but to book an Uber, got Stu, taking the hapless driver along on the wildest ride of his lifetime.

Nanjiani and Bautista were both very likable actors who gave their stereotype characters (mousy Asian driver and buff alpha-male cop) personalities you'd root for. The humor was dry, dark, weird and awkward, but it mostly worked. The two stars gave it their all in those physically comic action sequences in unusual settings, like a male strip club, a vet clinic, a sporting goods store, among others. 

I was surprised to see in the credits that that was Mira Sorvino who played Vic's superior. Saddled with a nondescript title like "Stuber," I thought this would be a snoozer. However, this one unexpectedly turned out to be quite entertaining and fun.

UNPLANNED

Watch more in iWantTFC

When she was in college, Abby Johnson (Ashley Bratcher) volunteered to work for Planned Parenthood in the belief that it aimed to reduce the incidence of abortions. In the following years, Abby rose in the ranks in the PP organization to become a public relations officer to counselor and eventually clinic director. One day, Abby was called to assist an ultrasound-guided abortion. For the first time in her eight years in PP, she witnessed how a fetus got sucked into the doctor's suction tubing. This experience traumatized Abby so much that it led to a major change of heart.

From its opening credits sequence, this film already had the feel of a TV movie with its style of cinematography and music. It started pleasantly with a sweet breakfast scene in the Johnson household. But once Abby was called into the procedure room, the film wasted no time in showing us what it was really all about. What Abby saw on that monitor is more than enough drive home its point that abortion is murder. 

I do not know if this film's portrayal of Planned Parenthood's evil deception was accurate or not, but it surely worked for their pro-life cause. This film will no doubt be called propaganda, and yes it may be true, but this anti-abortion film is powerfully sobering and disturbing stuff which no one can ignore.

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."