A family-friendly musical comedy, entertaining primarily for the younger set. Hello moviegoers! “Rio 2” the sequel to the break-out animated musical film ‘Rio’ leaves the city and heads deep into the Amazon. A predictable plot, with enjoyable gags for kids, and a fun soundtrack that will appeal across demographics doesn’t quite measure up to its predecessor, but kids who love the first one will enjoy this one as well.
‘Rio 2’ (2 ½ sweet potatoes out of four) Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jemaine Clement, Bruno Mars, Jamie Foxx, will.i.am, George Lopez, Kristin Chenowith; Director: Carlos Saldana; Genre: Animation Musical Comedy; Rated: G; Runtime: 101 minutes; Opens: Friday, April 11, 2014
Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and his now wife, Jewel (Anne Hathaway) are happily living at the preserve in Rio de Janeiro with Linda (Leslie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santero) who have also tied the knot since the previous film. Three little Macaws have been added to the family bringing the species count to a reported five.
During a trip to the Amazon, Linda and Tulio discover the existence of a nest of Blue Macaws. Blu and company hear the news and Jewel convinces everyone it’s time for a trip to find the rest of their kind. The family along with Nico, Rafael and Pedro (Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, and will.i.am) who come along to find a new Carnival star, journey to the Amazon. Danger is present, however, because of humans logging in the area which threatens the Macaws habitat.
There is adventure and laughs primarily from the original film’s villain Nigel (Jemaine Clement) and his twisted lovesick companion a poisonous frog played by the hilarious, Kristin Chenowith, who are on a pure revenge mission against Blu. Other new characters include a Blue Macaw named Roberto (Bruno Mars) a childhood friend of Jewels and the rest of Jewels previously lost family.
Although Rio 2 doesn’t quite soar as high as the first, the music stands on its own and the soundtrack may have you thinking about partying in Rio or at the least taking salsa lessons. It, also, stays true to its roots as a not-so veiled message about environmental, animal, and endangered species protection. I give ‘Rio 2’ 2 ½ sweet potatoes out of four.
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