Monday 25 November 2013, 15:12
Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poelher and George Takei… Not a bad line-up and all very funny. It’s a shame they’re animated turkeys then and can’t showcase their acting or comic skills in Free Birds. Reggie (Wilson) is a turkey desperate to show his clan that they’re being fattened up to be eaten but of course he’s shouted down because turkeys are stupid. So far, so Chicken Run. But then Jake (Harrelson) shows up with a mission to get turkey off the Thanksgiving menu altogether by using a time traveling machine to go back to the very first Thanksgiving.
Free Birds trailer
I like to send my nephew (age 6) to see these screenings before I do so that I can get see the film through the eyes of an enthusiastic kid as opposed to a cynical critic. Unfortunately, Luca’s not particularly discerning so all I get is, “yeah, great! 5 stars!” every time. It’s definitely a film for the younger kids, there’s almost nothing for adults to enjoy - no naughty jokes, no sexy characters (I think they tried to give the girl turkey boobs. It didn’t work) and loads and loads of the same slapstick pieces.
Reggie is really quite irritating and it’s no surprise that his turkey posse try to have him sacrificed for their own lives (when actually he ends up being the pardoned, Presidential turkey – it’s an American tradition apparently). Jake might have been a bit more interesting if we had found out his motivation for wanted to save all turkeys earlier in the film but perhaps the filmmakers thought children might not be able to retain this information until the end. The time machine, S.T.E.V.E (Takei) is no TARDIS and weirdly underused, they could have had so much fun with the “wibbly wobbly, timey wimey” stuff but the film gets bogged down in the fable-esqe, moral ending.
To be honest, the only effect that this film will have on people’s lives is when those kids refuse to eat turkey because of this film and parents will have to lie en masse about what bird is being served up. Maybe go with goose.
Also watch this epic vid – Why turkeys are badass… I love Buzzfeed.
Why turkeys are badass, courtesy of Buzzfeed
Comparisons to Chicken Run
· One lone turkey wants to escape his situation (i.e. death)
· Two male turkeys square up to each other a lot, a la Rocky and Fowler
· There is a male, uglier version of Mrs Tweedy
· Evil dogs
· A romance between feathered comrades
Differences to Chicken Run
· Chicken Run was funny