Actors: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jemaine Clement
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: English, Portuguese, Spanish
Dubbed: French, Portuguese, Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Run Time: 101 minutes
Every mildly successful animated film warrants a quick sequel these days, and
Rio 2 feels as though it were written the
morning after the first box office numbers came in. The story is lazily written
with forgettable dialogue and a familiar narrative contrivance, reserving any
of the film’s creativity for the colorful musical numbers. As with the first
film, it succeeds in the colorfulness of its setting but offers even less in
terms of characters or story.
All of the characters from the first film are back, essentially placed very awkwardly into the Meet the Parents narrative, with a few forced messages about conservationism for good measure. Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) take their three kids into the Amazon in search of their friends/owners, inexplicably coming across a whole pack of blue macaws. Among them is Jewel’s father (Andy Garcia), and a handsome and charming childhood friend to make Blu appropriately uncomfortable and jealous for much of the film.
Attempting to do too much with too little focus, the film has several storylines and villains. Along with the fish-out-of-water dynamic of Blu’s inability to survive in the wild, a corrupt business man is tearing down the forest nearby, and Nigel returns to comically attempt to enact revenge for the first film. There are also a series of talent show auditions, which just add more clutter to the film and special features. All this film really seems to focus on is the spectacle of the musical numbers, which might be an adequate distraction for younger audience members now that their parents can turn it on and leave the room.
The combo-pack Blu-ray release of
Rio 2 includes a DVD and
digital HD copy of the film as well. The special features are crammed with
extras as well, which include plenty of deleted scenes and added sequences. The
“You Be the Judge” added auditions for the talent show would be more amusing if
the title of the featurette were at all accurate, and if they didn’t have the
same ending to each of the deleted scenes in this category. There is also a
refresher of what happened in the first film, for those who only remember the
musical sequences. Those musical numbers are highlighted even more in this
film, with a sing-a-long section in the extras. There are also a few
featurettes about the performers and a music video.
Entertainment Value: 5.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 4/10
Historical Significance: 2/10