Rio 2 – Review

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Photo Courtesy 20th Century Fox

You might not remember what happened in the first one, or even remember that there was a first one, but the Rio team is back with a sequel, whether you want it or not.

Jesse Eisenberg has returned to provide the voice of Blu – one of the last blue macaws on the planet.  Picking up where the last movie left off, we find Blu living in Rio, married to his beloved Jewel (Anne Hathaway), and raising 3 kids.  However, they might not be the last of their kind after all.

Blu’s former owner, Linda (Leslie Mann), has joined forces with the oddly sexy scientist Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro), to bring a rare bird back to The Amazon, when they think they see a blue macaw flying in the jungle.  Jewel sees the ensuing report on TV, and convinces Blu the family should head to The Amazon and reunite with the rest of the flock because they aren’t being the birds they should be.  They need to get back to their roots and stop living more like humans than macaws!

Who are these other macaws in The Amazon?

What danger do they face?

Rio 2 is another movie that is good enough.  It is overloaded with many subplots, but very little depth.  Director Carlos Saldanha is left to race from one subplot to the next without much time to pause for reflection or something more meaningful.  Kids might not notice, but adults might get a bit tired of trying to keep track of so many characters and twists when they really don’t matter at all.

Yet, Rio 2 is funny with lots of silliness for the kids, if they don’t pick up on the darker side of Rio 2.  We have the return of the evil Nigel (Jemaine Clement), who wants to murder Blu.  Snakes and other animals are looking to make some of the characters into dinner.  Evil loggers are putting Tulio and Linda in grave danger, and one character even attempts to commit suicide.  Believe it or not, it’s all played for laughs, but I felt a bit uncomfortable.  How did this get a G rating?

However, the fun outweighs the dark.  Kristin Chenoweth is awesome as the poisonous frog, Gabi, with a crush on Nigel that is revealed in an amazing musical sequence that is everything you love about singing, dancing and overblown Broadway productions, while we get plenty of giggles as Blu proves to be the bird who doesn’t fit in because he is too soft after living in the city his entire life, and clearly not rough enough to survive in the wild.  Adults even get a few laughs as Blu tries to deal with Jewel’s old life in the wild (the life she had before marrying him), and the romance she once shared with a macaw wonderfully played by Bruno Mars.  No man wants to try to compete with Bruno Mars for a lady’s affection.

We all need some goofiness, so you might as well check out Rio 2.

2_5waffles_sml2 ½ Waffles (Out of 4)

Rated G

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