Review: Rio 2 (2014)

Rio 2

The sequel to Blue Sky Studios’ smash-hit parrot adventure, Rio 2 maintains the same bright and brisk approach that helped carry its predecessor to a cool $484M box office cume, but lacks substantially in substance and emotional depth. When a hidden tribe of Spix’s Macaw’s are discovered in the Amazon, Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and his family – Jewel (Anne Hathaway) and their three chicks – leave their domesticated life in search of pastures new. There’s little fresh or new in Rio 2 that wasn’t present the first time around, with screenwriters Don Rhymer and Carlos Saldnha constructing a by-the-numbers narrative in which the dramatic moments – Blu’s reluctance to live in the wild and Jewel’s obvious attraction to childhood sweetheart Roberto (Bruno Mars), to name a few – are left half-baked in favour of flamboyant show tunes and irksome tourism campaigns (yes, we’re all perfectly aware that the World Cup will be in Brazil next year). The only instances of humour throughout the films short, yet not-so-sweet 93 minute run time come in the form of Jemaine Clement’s wickedly evil cockatoo Nigel and a handful of gags that poke fun at the unreliability of GSP gadgets. All in all, despite the undeniably sharp visuals and endearing voice talents at play (will.i.am and Jamie Foxx as a pair of beat-boxing birds excluded), Rio 2 is disappointingly average, and funny enough only to entertain the littlest of the little audience member.

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