Director: Carlos Saldanha
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx
2011's 'Rio' was a fun film for kids. There was nothing as such unlikeable about it. It had its share of flaws, like being predictable, thin on story and too many pop culture gags, but it was still enjoyable, especially for kids. The sequel, 'Rio 2', doesn’t improve much upon the original in the flaws section, but it maintains the tempo and retains all the elements that made the first film entertaining.
Following the standard Hollywood sequel procedure, 'Rio 2' is much bigger in scope, scale, budget, characters, and mostly, in this film, colour. This time around, Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) are busy raising their kids with all the human props like iPods and TVs, only to take a journey to the Amazon, when they get to know of a whole colony of Macaws in the jungles.
As in the first film, the running gag about Blu being more reliant on human technology carries on here. Most of the expected Blu jokes on a grating father-in-law and former love interest are present. All of the folks from the first film, including Rafael (George Lopez), Nico (Jamie Foxx), Pedro (will.i.am), and Luiz (Tracy Morgan) are back, but this time they have their own little story within the film.
Director Carlos Saldanha, who has made a name for himself with the Ice Age films and the first 'Rio', returns with a lot of passion in 'Rio 2'. He clearly loves the world he has created and definitely puts in a lot of effort to create something new and unique to look at in every bright colorful frame of the film. The sequel is much pacier and, dare I say, more action-packed than the first film.
It’s all very predictable for sure, but the jokes come thick and fast and there’s so much energy in the film it’s difficult to dislike any of the proceedings. The sequel is aimed squarely at kids and one can’t fault the filmmakers or the film for that. Adults might find the movie simplistic or dumbed down, but even they won’t be able to deny the beautifully detailed animation, even though it is presented in 3D. It’s harmless, escapist fun, and it’ll surely be a bigger hit on DVD.