Thursday, April 10, 2014

RIO 2 (C-/B-/B-/A-/A)

Bottom Line: I really enjoyed the first RIO movie – an energetic adventure about a rare, flightless, Minnesota-housed Blue Macaw.  It was well written, witty, colorful and sincere.  This follow up – well…it’s, um, it’s colorful.  This seemingly rushed rehash never recreated the physical pain I endured while watching Disney’s PLANES (Plane Pain, as I like to call it), but it sure as heck doesn’t fall too far from that let’s-not-try-too-hard tree.  The effort here – in terms of story – is a dazed and confused effort.  A few shrug-worthy jokes, lots of celebration of life and a few show tunes awkwardly shoehorned in because the brilliant success of FROZEN proved that that’s what we want…right?!  My family, five strong (and true to form), was all over the map: While my 6- and 4-year olds showered it with A’s, my wife and 9-year old – refreshingly – saddled it with a B-.  It’s hard to wow families in a post FROZEN/LEGO MOVIE world.  The color is all there, along with a tad of familial spirit - but the rest is a frantically chaotic mix of clichéd animated hijinx.  It was a soulless, style-over-substance bore.  Lushly animated and lazily executed, RIO 2 is, indeed, for the birds and the cinematic equivalent of parking your newly washed car under a pigeon-laden telephone wire.  Sure she looks shiny, but you know what happens next…

Starring the voices of: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Andy Garcia, Bruno Mars, Jamie Foxx, Tracy Morgan, George Lopez, Jermaine Clement, Leslie Mann, Kristin Chenoweth and
Directed by: Carlos Saldanha (RIO, ICE AGE and ROBOTS)
Rated: PG
Running time: 101 minutes
Studio description: It's a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids in RIO 2, after they're hurtled from that magical city 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. All our favorite RIO characters are back, and they're joined by Oscar (R) nominee Andy Garcia, Grammy (R) winner Bruno Mars, Tony (R) winner Kristin Chenoweth and Oscar/Emmy (R)/Tony winner Rita Moreno. RIO 2 also features new Brazilian artists and original music by Janelle Monae and Wondaland. (c) Fox

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