run time: 101 mins
considered: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
director: Carlos Saldanha
starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Leslie Mann, Bruno Mars, Jemaine Clement, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, will.i.am, Rodrigo Santoro, Jake T. Austin, Tracy Morgan, Bebel Gilberto, Andy Garcia, Kristin Chenoweth, Rita Moreno, Rachel Crow, Amandla Stenberg, Pierce Gagnon, Natalie Morales, Janelle Monae
movie summary: The world’s two most famous blue macaw birds are back. Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) leave the comforts of Rio De Janeiro to travel three thousand miles away to the Amazon rain forest with hopes to find other blue macaws.
The last time we saw Blu and Jewel they were rescuing other exotic birds and falling madly in love with each other. Fast forward a few years later we find them married with three kids, Carla, Bia, Tiago. Their owners Linda (Leslie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) are in the Amazon looking for other exotic birds and trying save the rainforest from destruction. Blu spends most of the day teaching the kids how to interact with humans and eating human food while Jewel fawns upon this and wishes her kids were more traditional birds.
When Linda and Tulio make the National news for discovering more blue macaw birds, Jewel decides to pack up the family and travel to the Amazon. Pedro (will.i.am), Nico (Jamie Foxx), and Rafael (George Lopez) tag along for the journey over seas where the gang bump into Nigel (Jemaine Clement) on a ferry-boat in Africa. Nigel sees Blu and wants revenge for what happened in the previous movie, so with the help of his two new sidekicks the trio plan an attack to kill Blu.
When the birds get to the forest they get kidnapped by some blue macaws who bring them to their tribal leader, Eduardo (Andy Garcia) who turns out to be Jewel’s father. Blu is now in the middle of an awkward situation, Eduardo doesn’t like him because he was a human pet and has a fanny pack. Roberto (Bruno Mars) steps in to the say hello to his long-lost friend Jewel, Blu gets really jealous of Roberto’s charm and classic good looks. Eduardo loves Roberto like a son and treats him like one leaving Blu to be the third wheel in his own family. After a few days Eduardo takes Blu out for a sightseeing trip which actually turns out to be a training exercise on how to be a real bird not a pet. Blu manages to survive all the obstacles but Eduardo is still not impressed that Blu wants to return to his human Linda. He informs Blu that he can leave anytime he wants but Jewel will not being going with him.
Deep in the forest Linda and Tulio come across some ruthless construction workers bulldozing trees who kidnap them in an attempt to stop them from saving the forest. Blu gets up one morning to get a surprise for Jewel only to upset the clan of red birds that live on the other side of the forest groove. They challenge Eduardo and his birds to a match to determine the new boundaries of the forest, which Blu manages to get involved in and doesn’t do anything to make up for his earlier mistake. Jewel is embarrassed by Blu so tells him he needs to decide whether he’s going home to Linda or staying here with her. Blu grabs his GPS and tries to find Linda who is tied to a tree with Tulio. Blu comes to realize that the construction guys are making their way to the groove where Jewel and his family are, so rushes back to convince Eduardo and the rest of the birds to come together and save the forest. His only problem is none of the other birds like humans so trying to convince them will be no easy task.
my thoughts: The first question I have to ask is why does every animated movie made today jammed packed with needless and pointless songs?!? I know the first Rio had a couple of songs in it that fit the lifestyle of Rio de Janeiro, but Rio 2 is set in the middle a rainforest. Needless to say the writers decided to throw in a bunch more songs to make up for their horrible storytelling.
This movie has far to many sub plot characters and story lines. The main story is supposed to be about Blu, Jewel, and their kids reestablishing a lost connection with her dad in the Amazon. There is no need for Pedro, Nico, and Rafael to tag along but they do and they host talent auditions with birds across the amazon with the goal to bring them back to Rio for Carnaval. Nigel returns to the story to seek revenge and brings with him two useless side kicks, a poisonous frog and an anteater. The construction workers are there to be the movie’s antagonist which makes sense, but there are not enough bad guys to the amount of good guy birds.
When Rio came out in 2011 it was a cute original idea that made both kids and adults laugh at Blu and his experiences in the big city. The second movie will entertain the kids with great graphics, crazy characters, and funny one-liners but ultimately falls short of the original in terms of plot, storytelling, and the fact it showcases too many characters. Don’t get me wrong when I say this isn’t a great movie, it’s a decent movie that you should go see at the theatre to appreciate the animation on the big screen, but you won’t be lining up to buy it on 3D Blu Ray when it comes out.
my star rating: 5 out 10
imdb.com: 7.0 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 50% out 100%