This summer blockbuster season (and most for that matter) it seems you can’t swing a stick without hitting a sequel. We’re in week 2 and we’ve had just as many sequels.
We are living in the age of the sequel, sometimes that’s an amazing thing (the current Marvel dynasty), sometimes that’s a very bad thing (“Grease 2”), and sometimes it’s unclear (“Rio 2”).
The first time around “Rio” was everything I expected it to be, absolutely visually stunning, fun and clever at moments, but with a story that wasn’t anything to write home about.
This time around Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) are joined by their 3 kids as they venture from Rio to the Amazon to help their humans, Linda (Leslie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro), uncover whether Blu, Jewel, and family truly are the last of the Blue Macaws.
Once again, Blu, a bird who was raised in Minnesota, finds himself outside of his comfort zone and surrounded by a whole crew of perfectly entertaining and impressively voiced friends (Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Bruno Mars, Tracy Morgan, Rita Moreno…to name a few).
This is all while being unwittingly followed by Blue’s apparently immortal nemesis Nigel (Jermaine Clement) and his new hench-frog (Kristin Chenoweth). I love Kristin Chenoweth and I love her song, but her character is pure fluff, and I guess that’s okay. Although I haven’t even mentioned the much larger enemy—shadowy tree cutter man who represents human development.
In all honesty, I can’t complain too much. The sequel lives up to the expectations set by its predecessor—stunning animation, entertaining characters and one-liners, with a perfectly acceptable story. You won’t curse the fact that you forfeited an hour and a half to this movie, but you might find yourself wondering if it needed to happen.