With its comic elements, gripping plot and animation, the 2011-release Rio appealed to children and adults alike. The sequel, also directed by Carlos Saldanha, fails because of the plot that is far more predictable and loosely held.
It turns out that Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) aren’t the last blue macaws alive as believed in the prequel. Nor are their chicks Bia (Amandla Stenberg), Tiago (Pierce Gagnon) and Carla (Rachel Crow) the only new additions to the the species -- there’s a whole tribe of them in the Amazon, being driven deeper into the rainforests by the day, as illegal loggers are out to raze the jungle.
Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro), one of the macaw couple’s human companions, spots a blue feather and goes in search of the larger flock with his partner Linda (Leslie Mann). The bird family, along with friends Nico (Jamie Foxx), Pedro (will.i.am), Rafael (George Lopez) and Luiz (Tracy Morgan), set off in the same direction in search of an adventure, and are found by the undomesticated members of their species as they reach the forests.
This is followed by a discovery that would change the lives of the five birds -- the head of the anti-human tribe, Eduardo, is Jewel’s father, whom she had believed to be dead.
Meanwhile, Nigel (Jemaine Clement), the bird-eater now rendered flightless after being chained, seeks out Blu in vengeance. He’s followed by Gabi, a poisonous frog who adores the cockatoo, and the servile ant-eater Charlie, who with his strong rubber-band tongue gets Nigel up trees, through the air and wherever the flightless bird wants to go.
Interesting new characters that are introduced include Jewel’s old sweetheart Roberto (Bruno Mars), who with his charismatic personality, song and dance and history with ‘Jew-Jew’ as he calls her, makes Blu, labelled a human-lover, feel more insecure and alienated than he already does in the ‘hot forest crawling with insects’ and among the tribe.
Unlike the first movie, the plot, though laced with humour, vivid 3D animation and music, lacks urgency in most parts. The film is worth a watch, though it might not be a movie that you keep going back to like Rio.
Film: Rio2 (English)Director: Carlos Saldanha
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Amandla Stenberg
Pierce Gagnon, Rachel Crow