Saturday, August 16, 2014

Rio 2

2011's Rio was a colorful (if mostly by the numbers) film featuring a domesticated Spix Macaw (Jesse Eisenberg) who finds himself stuck in the wider world in your basic fish (or in this case bird) out of water storyline. The sequel doesn't stray far from the original as Blu (Eisenberg) once again is put in uncomfortable new surroundings only to eventually prove he has what it takes to survive and thrive.

After the discovery of other Macaws, Blu and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) head into the Amazon with their children (Rachel Crow, Amandla Stenberg, Pierce Gagnon) where Blu finds it increasingly hard to fit in (and that's before meeting Jewel's disapproving father). Once again the movie gives us both human and bird enemies, unnecessarily returning Jemaine Clement as the vengeance-obsessed Nigel, along with the supporting cast of the first film and a few new faces (most notably Kristin Chenoweth as a poisonous tree frog) as well.

Rio 2 isn't so much bad as completely unnecessary as Blu's misadventures in the Amazon rainforest are little more than slightly-reheated themes of the first film in new packaging. Despite the colorful settings, the sequel feels drab compared to the first film (which itself was far from perfect). The script of the somewhat unexpected financial success didn't leave much room for the characters' further adventures (at least nowhere very interesting) leading to the disappointing sequel. And with an impressive box office showing once again I wouldn't be surprised if we saw further diminishing returns in the forms of more sequels in the years to come.

Available on Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, and DVD, extras include a deleted scene, featurettes on Rio de Janeiro and the film's voice acting, various fearettes on the music used in the sequel, trailer, and BD Live extras.

[20th Century Fox, Blu-ray $39.99 / 3D Blu-ray $49.99 / DVD $29.98]

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