Release Date: April 11, 2014
Running Time: 101 minutes
You can take a domesticated blue macaw out of the city but can you take the city out of a domesticated blue macaw? That’s the question at the heart of Rio 2, which finds the Jesse Eisenberg-voiced Blu out of his element when his family trades the friendly confines of Rio de Janeiro for the Amazon Rainforest. This bright and colorful sequel follows Blu, the Anne-Hathaway-voiced Jewel, and their three kids into the Amazon when their owners Linda and Tulio (Leslie Mann Rodrigo Santoro) discover evidence of a tribe of rare Spix’s macaw birds. Not only is the tribe hidden deep in the Amazon but it is led by Jewel’s very macho father (voiced with unwavering authority by Andy Garcia). Returning director Carlos Saldanha, though, isn’t content with Rio 2 just being a family reunion. The tribe’s existence comes under threat when an illegal logging company targets its hideout, resulting in an overly familiar plot that offers a kid-friendly lesson in deforestation while setting up the inevitable rumble in the jungle between bird and man. While Saldanha doesn’t allowRio 2 to get too sanctimonious, he knows better than to use the issue at hand merely as filler between the obligatory Brazilian-influenced musical numbers. There’s a natural energy to Rio 2 that can be traced to its pulsating soundtrack. The Amazon is certainly alive with the sound of music—and Eisenberg’s Woody Allen-esque whining. Rio 2 mines Blu’s “stranger in a strange land” experiences to obvious but amusing effect. Still, Eisenberg—like fellow voice-cast members Hathaway, Garcia, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Leslie Mann, and Bruno Mars—are staged by the delighting arrogant Jermaine Clement, who returns as the scheming Cockatoo Nigel, and franchise newcomer Kristin Chenoweth as Gabi, a poison dart frog with the hots for Nigel. Their hilarious take on “I Will Survive” puts other renditions to such shame that Gloria Gaynor’s overused anthem should be prohibited from further use.
Aired: April 10, 2014
Web site: http://www.riomovies.com/