Most of the animated films that hit the big screen do good numbers thanks to the droves of kids that want to check out anything in cartoon form. When Rio hit theaters in 2011 it was a big hit, so it comes as no surprise they fast tracked a sequel. Now Rio 2 is finally hitting theaters and not sure if there was a hope for this, but the success of the original guaranteed it was going to happen. Could this sequel capture anything that made the first one a success or will it just be another cash grab?
Rio 2 follows Blu, Jewel and their three kids who are hurtled Rio de Janeiro to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all: his father-in-law. The entire cast returns along with some newbies including Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Kristen Chenoweth, Jemaine Clement, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Leslie Mann, Bruno Mars, Tracey Morgan, and Will I Am. The film kicks off picking up with the new family and looks like it may be a lot of fun, but then it sets out on its latest adventure and things quiuckly slow down. The story is more or less a rehash of the first just on a bigger scale with a bit of the story from Ice Age: The Meltdown thrown in. While the story felt unoriginal it could have worked had something more actually happened, but sadly nothing ever does. They used the family and discovery of the other Blu macaw’s as the primary focal point but actually just masks the other aspect of protecting the rainforest story that feels out of place. They really should have settled on one story to focus on instead of forcing these two to work together. The music is aplenty as expected, but with the exception of maybe two songs they are all pretty annoying and not all that memorable. On the plus side the animation is beautiful to look at despite the useless 3D, but is just wasted on an uninspiring finished product.
This is one of those sequels that offers nothing new to continue the series and feels pretty much just like a cash grab. There are some great characters here that are sadly wasted especially one of the new ones, a poison dart frog voiced by Kristen Chenoweth that steals every scene she is in. There is no doubt that the kids are likely to love it and this being geared towards them will likely make this another hit, but let’s hope they learn from it and do something a bit more inspired should it spawn another.
For more information head over to http://www.riomovies.com/