Dave’s 3-Word Review:
While we’re imprisoned.
Now, out of all of our Holidays, Thanksgiving tends to be my favorite. Whether it’s about food, family getting together, or a little bit of both, it’s just my favorite holiday. Maybe it’s just because Christmas is too mainstream…I don’t know. I do know that there’s a million Christmas movies and barely any Thanksgiving movies, and why is that? I’d hate to think it’s because Thanksgiving-themed movies are doomed, but that seems to be the case based solely off of Free Birds, the one movie of 2013 I’ve only heard of because I saw a poster. Never looked it up, never saw a trailer, just saw a poster and thought…what the heck is that? Is that…Chicken Little 2? Chicken Run 2? Nope, not chickens at all, turkeys. Okay, so what’s it about?
In short, it’s the four t’s: Thanksgiving, turkeys, time travel.
In long: Basically, you have this really small but short turkey amongst a group of stupid turkeys that don’t realize that they are being fattened up for Thanksgiving. Thankfully though, he’s safe when the President of the United States pardons him and takes him to Camp David where he watches Spanish TV and eats tons of delivery pizza. That’s when another Turkey, Jake, takes him to a government-run time machine. Their mission? To go back to the first Thanksgiving and take turkeys off of the menu for good.
That’s actually an awesome premise. You got time travel, animation, animals, and the possibility of having an educational message behind everything, perfect for kids and a cool premise for an adult to enjoy as well…so where does it go bad? Well I’m glad you asked, so I’ll tell ye – after they travel in time. That’s right, immediately after the time exploration occurs, the movie suddenly stops being interesting. I mean it, there is a sudden drop, plop, and nothing is cool anymore. I’m not entirely sure why, it still had some decent animation, casting, and the plot was still going on, it just wasn’t as strong anymore. The more I watched, the worse it got.
Owen Wilson obviously needed some more voice work on his roster, and he decided this was the best place to find it. Yep, that’s his voice alright. Yep, I hear Woody Harrelson in there too, oh and Amy Poehler. That’s nice. In the scheme of things, “that’s nice” is all I can say for that. They aren’t bad choices for voices, it was the actors’ bad choice that led them to this film is all. I don’t really have anything bad to say about the actual acting per se, but while it’s in a bad movie, the acting suddenly sounds bad is all.
I just wanted so much more than what I got. I don’t know what I expected once they arrived in the past, but it definitely wasn’t that. Owen Wilson’s character Reggie had a good start, but I believe they took what good it was and threw it in with a bunch of other random characters until he himself blended in, which was not the best choice! He needed a stronger and more heroic role than what he had. He’s the underdog, so make it more obvious than that.
In the end, I just think…they had a certain idea but even the filmmakers didn’t know where to go from there. Everything else felt more filler than it should have, and the audience can tell. I can see it being something to keep the kids busy while you cook Thanksgiving dinner and get that ready, but it’s not a film they will remember, and it’s definitely not one you will enjoy.
It has a decent idea, and it keeps the kids busy while Thanksgiving preparations are made.
Everything else. I can’t see any child remembering this as a great film, nor any adult that would enjoy watching it with their little ones.