REVIEW: Rio 2

Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) have three kids and while Jewel tries to teach the children to live off the land, Blu lives like he did in America. Linda (Lesie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) who are now married go to the Amazon to bring a bird they nursed back to health to its natural habitat but discover that there might be more birds like Blu and Jewel. When Jewel learns of this she wants to go there and see if there are any other birds like them. Although Blu is a city bird and doesn’t want to, he decides to go to make Jewel happy. However, a logger is also in the mist and tries to get rid of the birds.

It’s been out for a while but after loving the first film so much I knew had to go and see this. The film still has that awesome and beautiful carnival feel to it – despite the fact they are in Rio for only ten minutes at the beginning of the film and the rest is set in the Amazon. With family animation films there seems to be a connection with the sequels; Shrek 2 had Shrek unwillingly go to see Princess Fiona’s parents; Madagascar 2 sees Alex stumble upon his parents and tribe in Africa; Rio 2 follows the latter as when Blu and Jewel’s go to the Amazon to see if they are more like them (and to see Linda and Tulio) Jewel finds her father and tribe. And compared to the first film, there seems to be lots of sub-plots going on, which makes this film lose a little of what the franchise is about. Rio (2011) focuses on Blu and Jewel trying to get along whilst being attached by chains and get away from some crooks and an evil bird whilst Linda and Tulio try to find them. Along the way, Blu and Jewel make friends who try to help them. In Rio 2, you have plot 1) Blue and Jewel and their family find Jewel’s tribe and Blue tries to fit in. Plot 2) Linda and Tulio stumble upon some loggers who are cutting down the forest and the ‘Big Boss’ tries to remove Kinda and Tulio out of the equation. 3) Blu and Jewel’s friends, Nico (Jamie Foxx), Pedro (Will.I.Am) and Rafael (George Lopez) set auditions for one of the Amazon animals to go to Rio and be the main dancer for the carnival show. 4) Nigel (Jermaine Clement) who cannot fly, due to the end of the first film, follows Blu and tries to get his revenge with the help of a very talkative and poisonous frog called Gabi (Kristen Chenoweth) – who funnily enough is in love with Nigel. So there’s these four plots that are happening and although they eventually tie in together, the film goes from one to another and it sort of doesn’t flow very peacefully like the first film.

In the film, Jewel asks for Blu to think about her and the kids ‘for once’.  In my head I was just thinking ‘woah woah woah missy. In the first film Blu moved from Minnesota to Rio in order to keep his species alive and lives outside in a tree instead of in the house like he used. Plus in this film, Jewel and the kids wanted to go to the Amazong and even though he wasn’t keen on it, Blu agreed and they went. And what she done or changed about herself? Nothing!’ All my mind kept saying was Jewel is a bit of a harsh !#@£% if you ask me after that because she didn’t even consider how possibly living in the Amazon would affect him.

However, despite this, the film is good and has some funny moments, such as I like how Nigel disguises himself in the Amazon as Bob the bird and the auditions for the carnival are funny. The music – although there maybe one or two songs that seem as if they were just put in because the director could – is great and helps the film to progress into something other family animation films do not offer – some of the music features Janelle Monae. Gabi (who is a great addition to the franchise) even sings – and goes a bit crazy on the classical – about how much she loves Nigel and there’s even a blue bird called Roberto (Bruno Mars) who likes to sing to Jewel and welcome her back quite a few times. Oh, and there’s a sloth that is always asleep but will suddenly rap very fast. See, the film notices the significant aspects of each different animals and uses it to their advantage. For example, in the auditions, there are two tortoises who try to do some weird moves but bore the birds out because they are doing the moves very slowly. Just like the first film, the visuals are incredible and makes from the city of Rio to the Amazon trees, rivers and sunset look beautiful. 

Overall, you will like it. Although the sequel seems to slightly follow the trend for other animation sequels, the Rio films consist another aspect and element the others do not have. Though the plot could be a little bit better, the film is mesmerising – visually and musically – and funny and good for all ages.

Rio 2: 7.0/10

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