‘Rio 2’ Review

By Eli Ralston

When 20th Century Fox released Rio back in 2011, it grossed $485 Million dollars at the box office. Nowadays in Hollywood, that means a sequel!

Set three years after the events of the original, Rio 2 follows the two blue macaws, Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) who are now happily married with kids.

   They have been enjoying life in the animal rescue, run by Linda and Tulio, with their friends from the first film. After seeing a newscast about the possibility of more blue Macaws living in the Amazon, the gang grabs a fanny pack and a GPS and head for the rainforest.

A series of misguided directions and accidents lead Blu and Jewel to the clan of Blue Macaws headed by, you guessed it, Jewels’ father Eduardo (Andy Garcia). Blu then tries to fit in with the jungle crowd, prove himself to his father-in-law, and compete with Roberto, voiced by Bruno Mars (sigh).

This movie is a boring and muddled mess. The overabundance of sub-plots distracted from the main story. The side plot about the loggers tearing down the Amazon was forgettable and felt as if it was thrown in to add some kind of “message” about saving the rainforest, which turned out to be a bunk. Though the rainforest is in dangers of being destroyed, the animals will just rise up and beat them back all by themselves, right? Also, the story with Blu trying to impress his father-in-law has been done a thousand times before.

     The film’s “humor” is unamusing and predictable. Not a single child in the theater laughed once the entire film. The supporting characters only kill time with their annoying characteristics and delivery of eye-rolling and corny dialogue. Thank goodness Kelsey Grammer returns as Nigel, the theatrical cockatoo with a need for revenge. He provides some much needed comedic relief and decent voice acting.

The only redeeming factor of Rio is its soundtrack. The music breathes life into this lifeless plot with catchy tunes and performances. Unfortunately it fails to be as memorable as the songs from the first film.

All in all, this was a forgettable and cliché film. From the “loggers are evil” storyline, to the “all the animals team up to beat the bad businessman” climax, to the boring “everything works out for everyone” ending. Rio 2 is an animated film that, in the post-Frozen era, looks lazy. This a film a babysitter can use to get kids to sit still for a couple hours.

Verdict: Mediocre, Rio 2 is a mildly entertaining film that is completely forgettable and is cliche from the first minute.
Positives: Vibrant and colorful animation, Jesse Eisenberg and Kelsey Grammer’s performances.
Negatives: Annoying supporting characters, eye-roll worthy dialogue and too many one liners, cliche and unoriginal, when the kids in the theater aren’t laughing at the jokes then your kids movie failed at its job.