Director: Carlos Saldanha
Writers: Don Rhymer, Carlos Saldanha, Jenny Bicks, Carlos Saldanha, Yoni Brenner, Carlos Kotkin
Voice Cast: Jake T. Austin, Carlinhos Brown, Kristin Chenoweth, Jemaine Clement, Jim Conroy, Rachel Crow, Bernardo de Paula, Nola Donkin, Jesse Eisenberg, Miguel Ferrer, Tracy Morgan, Anne Hathaway, Bruno Mars, Leslie Mann, Andy Garcia, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Jeffrey Garcia, Bebel Gilberto, Will i Am
Synopsis: It's a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids after they're hurtled Rio de Janeiro to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all: his father-in-law.
MPAA Rating: G
7.0 / 10
- Decent voice acting
- Animation was pretty good.
- Nice musical numbers
- Some of the jokes are funny
- 3-D cinematography was good
- New characters are poorly developed
- Story is predictable as sin, and offers hardly anything new in terms of originality
- Blu's story arc feels more like a retread of what he went through in the last film
It's on in the Amazon!
To be fair, "Rio 2" is not as bad as most critics make it out to be. But on the other hand, i can't lie to my readers saying it's a great movie either. For the past several years, it's been no secret that Blue Sky studios has been sort of the bastard child when it comes to animation film studios; churning out such overrated movies like "The Ice Age" franchise and etc.
As far as "Rio 2" goes specifically, I wouldn't go out of my way to call it a bad movie by any means. It's just not very memorable. The story essentially picks up several months later after the first movie, as it shows Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) raising a family of three kids together, in a bird house located in Rio. Like all family comedies, it's fairly obvious Jewel is the one calling the shots, while Blu is nothing more than the dumb schmuck lucky enough to be with her. Why is it that all fathers are morons in family comedies?
Anyway, Jewel wants to raise the kids as regular birds, while Blu still can't help but revert back to his domestic lifestyle that he had with his owner, Linda (Leslie Mann), by making the kids pancakes instead of teaching them to gather food from the wild. However, due to a series of events, they inevitably find out that they're not the last of their kind after all, as they're lead to believe that there might be others living in the amazon. Needless to say, this overwhelms Jewel with joy, as she persists that the entire family make a trip up to the amazon. Blu reluctantly agrees to this, but his friends decide to tag along as well for emotional support....and to find another bird to play in their band.
To make a long story short, they do find more of their kind out in the amazon. Blu has trouble fitting in, as we have more of the "fish out of water" story arc with his character. We have a rival love interest that vies for Jewel's affection in Roberto, who's voiced by the talented Bruno Mars. A father in law that hates Blu's guts. A green message subplot involving poaches wanting to tear down the amazon, and Nigel (Jemaine Clement) is back for revenge against Blu for the events that happened in the last movie.
For those of you who don't remember Nigel, he was the big intimidating white bird from the first one. In this sequel though, he's more of a comical villain if anything else, as most of his attempts to kill Blu tend to backfire. Not to mention, he also has a frog named Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth), who's obsessed with him.
Anyway if you've seen a lot of movies before, then chances are you know exactly how all these subplots play out. You know at some point Blu is going to get frustrated fitting in, but he'll redeem himself around the end. You also know exactly when Blu's father in law is going to eventually accept him. You know Jewel will never leave Blu for Roberto. You also know all the bad guys are going to get what's coming to them, and all that jazz. Trust me, this movie is nothing if not insanely predictable.
Granted, you can say that about almost any kids movie out there, but most of the great ones at least have clever moments, and memorable characters. Sadly, "Rio 2" has none of those qualities. Not only are all the new characters fairly forgettable, but it seems like hardly any effort was put into them. The story arc about Blu being a "fish out of water" again was done rather nicely, but it feels more like a retread over what they did in the last movie. Hell, there was even a green message in the first "Rio" film as well.
The musical numbers are nice, and catchy. Plus, I will give credit to Blue Sky studios for the great work they put into the animation, which is miles better than those abysmal "Ice Age" films they produced. Some of the jokes are funny, and you'll definitely get your money's worth if you see it in 3-D. Granted, I wouldn't say any of the jokes are anywhere near the same level as the ones seen in "The Lego Movie", but they're not too bad. Plus, the voice actors really put a lot of effort into their parts as well.
Overall, "Rio 2" certainly doesn't have anything bad in it for kids, and it's definitely a fun movie to watch; in spite of it's flaws. However, if you're looking to see this, then I'd recommend waiting until the DVD/Blue Ray comes out because the story itself makes "Rio 2" such a forgettable movie that it's hardly even worth the trouble seeing it in theaters.
© 2014 Steven Escareno
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