Verdict: 1.5 / 5
What happens when Turkeys travel back in time, Terminator style, in order to prevent the day they fear most… Thanksgiving.
Reggie is a different breed of turkey. He is a skinny, geeky Turkey, but he is also smart. He knows that the farmer is not his friend and that there is no such thing as Turkey Paradise. Whilst trying to convince the other turkey’s that the farmer is fattening them with corn in order to slaughter each and every turkey, his warnings fall upon deaf and dumb ears and Reggie is offered to the farmer as a sacrifice.
Being kicked out by the not so sharp tools in the shed, it turns out that Reggie is not being offered to the farmer. Instead, he is on offer to the president of the United States of America. Reggie is the Pardon Turkey, the only turkey that will not be slaughtered on Thanksgiving. The president’s narcoleptic daughter takes a liking to her new pet turkey and Reggie is given the opportunity to live a life of leisure at Camp David. But all things change once Jake kidnaps Reggie. Even the quality of the script changes.
Jake is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of turkey’s. He may not be the brightest, but he certainly is one of the strongest. He is also obsessed with working out and loves flaunting his gluteus maximus. Using his strength, he takes Reggie out of captivity, as per the orders of an entity known as “The Great Turkey”. According to Jake, “The Great Turkey” has sent him to free Reggie so they could travel back in time and prevent turkeys from being the traditional Thanksgiving meal. This is where the adventure begins and the script gets sacrificed slowly but surely.
This movie features a rather impressive cast of voice actors; Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler, George Takei and Woody Harrelson as the main characters. It leaves the viewer wondering as to why this move is just not that funny. Once again, the punch lines are weak or extremely predictable. It has some good chase scenes and an impressive time travelling scene but the humour is so dry and not in a good way. I mean Turkey cannot be dry!
Once in the past, this advanced turkeys of the future set about erasing the tradition of Thanksgiving. Their objectives are simple: do not get eaten, free the captured turkeys and stop Thanksgiving. With such a simple concept one would think more time could be spent on the script. They could have even given the voice actors some freedom with the script as Amy Poehler and George Takei could have easily added their own spin in an effort to make this movie more bearable! Another strange thing is the fact that the turkeys of the past resemble Native Americans; from the way they live to their face paint. There is something very unsettling about this comparison. And the short, fat, bushy browed turkey just happens to be Mexican. He is also unable to complete a sentence without shouting, “Orale!” It does not feature a single African American turkey, but this is probably a good thing!
In the end Free Birds took a clever concept and stuffed it. This movie had the opportunity and the cast to be so much more than the final product they served the viewer. It has a few funny moments but in the end it is largely predictable and I doubt it will be a movie that children and adults will want to see more than once. It is far from being a classic.