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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

movie review-Rio 2 soars on wings of high expectations, lays multiple bad eggs

By Victor Henderson/multimedia editor

Photo courtesy Twentieth Century Fox  Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) go on another adventure, this time in the Amazon rainforest with three added members to the family as well as old friends.
Photo courtesy Twentieth Century Fox Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) go on another adventure, this time in the Amazon rainforest with three added members to the family as well as old friends.

Those who can fly off to paradise, do. Those who can’t, see Rio 2.

This animated film directed by Carlos Saldanha takes place mostly in, you guessed, the Amazon rainforest 2,000 miles away from Rio de Janeiro. Of course, the movie opens in beautiful Rio, but when Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) discover via television news they are not the last blue macaws of their kind, they pack their belongings and follow their ever-recalculating GPS to Amazonia.

All of Blu and Jewel’s bird friends return to the screen, traveling with them to the rainforest. It seems that their toucan pal Raphael (George Lopez), the boisterous cardinal Pedro (wil.i.am) and the soda cap-wearing canary Nico (Jamie Foxx) mostly went along for familiarity’s sake and comic relief.

At times, this movie is funny, but the extensive list of antagonists becomes overwhelming. Blu must save the newly discovered flock of blue macaws from humans going bulldozer- and chainsaw-crazy in the forest; appease his new father-in-law, Eduardo (Andy Garcia), who would rather have Jewel’s childhood friend Roberto (Bruno Mars) as a son-in-law; make amends with the rival flock of parrots he angered; and avoid being killed by the conniving cockatoo Nigel (Jemaine Clement) and his crazy poisonous frog girlfriend Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth). Whew.

The original Rio ended perfectly for a sequel that would give the audience the very next step in the story, which everyone imagined would be saving the species of blue macaws by starting a family. Rio 2, while great in tackling overarching issues such as how awful humans are to nature, had a focus so broad, the result for me was plot overload.

The original’s soundtrack brought high expectations for the music in this film, but it is gravely disappointing. It is entertaining because many of the songs are familiar Top 40 hits, but more original samba sounds are needed. Credit should go, though, to the voice actors whose characters sing as if their lives depend on it.

Rio 2 isn’t the worst film to fly into theaters, but it definitely doesn’t hold a feather to the original.

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