My favorite part of RIO 2 was when the end credits rolled, because I knew the torment had finally ended and I could start the process of deleting the experience from my mental harddrive. 


If you haven’t read my review for the first RIO you should click here and my disdain of RIO 2 will make much more sense. But in a nutshell, I feel that I deserve to be as equally entertained by animated films as my children. “But it’s a children’s film” is no excuse to have dumbed-down storytelling and lame obvious humor. Children are more sophisticated than we give them credit for and recent animated films (that I loved too) have proven that. 


The insanely predictable RIO 2 picks up where the other one ended. Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) now have three precocious children and are living in marital bliss because as the filmmakers hit us over the head with again and again “A happy wife is a happy life.” Don’t even get me started on that one. But they still feel alone in the world. 


As luck would have it, on their honeymoon in the Amazon, Linda (Leslie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) discover an entire blue macaw community. Word gets back to Blu and Jewel and they decide to make the long trip to meet their brothers and sisters. 


Imagine Jewel’s surprise (and ours. Not quite) when she discovers that the leader of the jungle macaw’s is none other than her father Eduardo (Andy Garcia) and that her old flame Roberto (Bruno Mars) is still pining away from her. Of course, Eduardo appreciates Blu for saving his daughter’s life but once he realizes that he’s been domesticated, he turns on him. Adding to the drama are illegal loggers that are clearing the jungle and threaten their home and their lives as well as the lives of Linda and Tulio. 


I know on paper this sounds rather complex and the making of some great drama, but it is so painfully predictable that everything and I mean EVERYTHING happens exactly as you have it pictured in your head right now. To call this movie tiresome is an understatement. 


There was nothing new or fresh in the storytelling that I haven’t seen in every other generic children’s fair (just different window dressing) and all the humor was obvious and uninspired. 


Much is made about the music in both RIO and RIO 2 but next to FROZEN and even the recent MUPPETS MOST WANTED it was just basic and forgettable. 


I know full well that I am being overly severe with these RIO reviews and I hope you can read the tongue-in-cheek sarcasm between the lines. At the end of the day the film is technically quite well made with some incredible animation. I fully accept that this film wasn’t made for me. 


My 6-year old son loved it (I’m seriously starting to think there may have been a mix-up at the hospital), but then again my 10-year old daughter was bored to tears and threatened to report me to Child Services. 


Ultimately, I go to movies to be entertained not be slowly lobotomized by uninspired, mind-numbing dreck. Is that too much to ask?

RIO 2 (2014)

APRIL 15, 2014