IT’S CUTE, BUT NOTHING SPECIAL!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: C (2 ½ stars)
20TH CENTURY FOX
Blu and family, Pedro, and Nico having a fiesta in Rio 2
Here we go again, another questionable and pointless sequel from animation studio, Blue Sky and thankfully it’s not another bad Ice Age sequel. But instead it’s a sequel to the family-friendly 2011 film, Rio, and while I didn’t consider the first Rio to be a fantastic animated film, I liked it.
It had spectacular animation, likable characters, and plenty of humor, not quite on the level of a Pixar or DreamWorks movie, but good enough.
I couldn’t imagine a sequel to this movie being made because it felt so self-contained. But we all know what happens when a movie does well at the box office, the studio makes a follow-up. Like its predecessor, Rio 2 has that beautiful Blue Sky animation and the characters are still enjoyable, but sadly it lacks the charm and wit of the first movie.
A few years after the events of Rio, we find the Blue Macaw who just learned how to fly, Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg-Zombieland, The Social Network, Now You See Me) and his mate, Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway-The Dark Knight Rises, Les Miserables) are now a family and have three children, music-loving, Carla, bookworm, Bia, and free-spirited and only son, Tiago. Everything seems to be going great for Blu in Rio de Janeiro, until they realize there are more Blue Macaws besides them, out in the Amazon.
So Blu, his family, and his friends, Rafael (voiced by George Lopez), Pedro (voiced by will.i.am), and Nico (voiced by Jamie Foxx-Django Unchained) take flight to the Amazon and find Jewel’s long-lost family and friends. Jewel is excited about finding her family, and Blu on the other hand is having a hard time fitting in, developing a relationship with Jewel’s strict father, Eduardo (voiced by Andy Garcia-Ocean’s trilogy, The Godfather Part III, Smokin’ Aces), and competing with Jewel’s childhood friend and showoff, Roberto (voiced by Bruno Mars).
Across the Amazon, Blu’s former owner, Linda (voiced by Leslie Mann-17 Again, Funny People, Mr. Peabody & Sherman) and her husband, Tulio (voiced by Rodrigo Santoro-300, Lost, 300: Rise of an Empire) get stuck in a little snafu with an evil group of illegal loggers who are plotting to chop down the trees in the Amazon and find the macaws’ nests. Oh, and Nigel (voiced by Jemaine Clement-Men in Black 3, Muppets Most Wanted), the sadistic Cockatoo from the first movie is back and he’s plotting to kill Blu and his friends, with the help of his poison dart frog sidekick, Gabi (voiced by Kristin Chenoweth).
So as you can tell, the biggest issue I have with Rio 2 is too much is going on in the movie. They should have chose between having the evil loggers or Nigel as the antagonist, rather than both, it would have made things a lot simpler.
Aside from too many antagonists, the existence of this film is very questionable. Sure I get that the first movie did well in theaters, but Rio should have stayed self-contained and the story shouldn’t have continued.
But there are aspects of the film that I like, the animation is beautiful, the voice acting is decent, and once in a while, Pedro and Nico will have a funny thing to say. Unfortunately it can’t save the film’s plot, if they cut some of it down and added more charm and wit, I’m sure this would have been a better movie.
It’s not terrible, believe me I’ve seen plenty of sequels that were worse (Smurfs 2), but there is no comparison to the first one, it was a lot more charming and funny and the plot was simpler and much more fun. If you want a better animated movie to see in the theater, I recommend waiting a couple of months for How to Train Your Dragon 2 to come out, or see The Lego Movie again.