'Rio 2' fails to recapture the magic

By Robby Sabo,
Author Rating: 
2.5 Stars

The problem with sequels is that, simply put, they are sequels. Recapturing success is an obvious yet tricky game. Obvious in the sense that excess is what this country is about, yet tricky to realize failure is common-place.

Rio 2 failed to live up to its predecessor, Rio. Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), Belle (Anne Hathaway) and the entire family are enjoying a domesticated life in Rio until the plot thickens.

Blu’s former owner (and her husband) are on an expedition trip in the Amazon when they discover a quick-flying Spix’s Macaw. Due to the family being fully entrenched in a domesticated lifestyle, they view the discovery on the news. Belle decides the family should go back to the Amazon to help out their own struggling species, the Spix’s Macaw.

Blu, who clearly does not wear the pants in this family, is then annoyingly cautious throughout the entire film while Belle (his wife) is ambitious and courageous. And this is where the entire foundation of the film lives and breathes: Blu’s excessively passive behavior being faced up against alphas such as Belle, her father Eduardo (Andy Garcia) and her former boyfriend Roberto (Bruno Mars).

As suspected, there are many subplots through this trip back to the Amazon. Blu meets the parents of his lovely wife Belle; they go up against a rival gang in the Scarlet Macaws; fend off evil loggers attempting to destroy the Amazon; and even escape the wrath of the villain in the first movie (Nigel the cockatoo and his new sidekick, a poisonous, love-sick dart-frog named Gabi).

The quirky ways of the domesticated birds, especially Blu, does make for some cute laughter. However the many subplots that come along with Amazon setting will make your head spin, not to mention an 8-year-old's.

There are too many things going on for an animated film. A major issue was creating too many characters without enough face-time for each.

The animations make for great visuals (much like Ice Age also created by “Blue Sky Studios”). Animation, a star-studded cast and some quirky humor aside, Rio 2 was yet another unnecessary sequel that failed to live up to the hype.



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