By Laurie Coker
Just in time for the holiday season, Free Birds, starring the voice talent of Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler and a host of others, comes to theatres. Just in case, we don’t get our fill on Thanksgiving, co-writer, director Jimmy Hayward brings us more. The kids will LOVE it, because of the action and simple story, but Hayward and his team have included little to engage adult viewers.
Two very different turkeys, Reggie (Wilson) and Jake (Harrelson) must join forces to travel back in time, in a machine called S.T.E.V.E (George Takei), to get turkey off the Thanksgiving Day menu. After sneaking into a government facility where the military is about to test its experimental time traveling “egg,” Jake and Reggie climb aboard and land on Plymouth Rock (What great luck!) and encounter a flock of turkeys hiding from the evil Hunter Miles Standish (Colm Meany), who works to help the Pilgrims stock up for the Winter – more than anything Standish won’t let the fowls our smart him.
I took my grandson and granddaughter to the screening and both sat quietly watching. The nine-year-old laughed and giggled, while the two-year-old munched popcorn., each entertained by some aspect of the film. I, however, found more entertainment in watching them enjoy the frolicking, formidable, fowls fight off the fearsome Standish, since I personally found it predictable and overly inane. There are a few innuendos and jokes above the kiddies heads but hardly enough to sustain adult views for any length.
Free Birds is cute. Cute like a puppy or a soft white bunny, and great for a family outing during the holidays, but I don’t think it will go down in history as a must see like say the staple “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” I am placing a C- in my grade book. Maybe I should let the grandkids write a review.