I was really excited for the release of Rio 2, as I was such a big fan of the original. I was actually the creepy adult in the audience, who went to see it without a kid! But Iâ€™m very disappointed to say, Rio 2 fell short of expectations.
In Rio 2, we are reunited with Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), and Jewel (Anne Hathaway). The two now have children and have just moved to the wilds of the Amazon, where they discover a large group of endangered birds. As Blu struggles to fit in, he comes face to face with the movies first villain Big Boss (Miguel Ferrer), who apparently hates endangered species and tree huggers.
First, if a childâ€™s movie is going to have an adult style agenda, then they need to make it fun for the adults to watch as well. In the first Rio, while the movie did seem to focus on the evils of endangered specials smuggling, they didnâ€™t cram the agenda down our throats. Rio 2 plays out like a very poorly researched â€˜save the planetâ€™ documentary with musical numbers and talking birds.
The movie is visually stunning and the animators took full advantage of the beautiful colors and adorable animals. I guess if you watched it on mute, it might be ok.
The plot is recycled from the first movie. In the original Rio, Blu was a fish out of water, a pampered house pet living in the suburbs. In Rio 2, he is a less pampered city bird, forced to move to the wild.
Also, I donâ€™t remember quite as many musical numbers in the first one. While a song or two can help jazz up a movie, it really feels like the script was padded with musical numbers because they didnâ€™t have enough material.
The movie did have its cute points, like Blu using a nerdy fanny pack with a GPS to travel, but it really isnâ€™t anything new. The freshness and the humor in the last one is gone in this one, and the entire movie feels like a series of musical numbers.
The movie runs about 1 hour and 41 minutes. By my estimation, about 1 hour and 20 minutes were musical numbers, while the rest was just a bunch of jumbled plot points. There are too many things going on, and no one stops singing long enough to explain it.
Itâ€™s cute, itâ€™s sweet and kids will love it. But it by no means stands out. This is no Frozen or Lego Movie. This is a recycled movie, with recycled characters, fleshed out with musical numbers. This is the kind of movie that you watch because your kids make you, and then forget about it.
Expect to see a Rio 3, and a Rio 4 and a Rio 5â€¦This movie is a clear money grab, with producers trying to squeeze as much revenue and merchandising as they can out of the franchise. My guess will be the next movie will be a fish out of water story where Blu leaves the Amazon to go live somewhere else, where everyone will think he is a nerd.Â Watch the official trailer below: