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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Happy Wife is a Happy Life
What can I say? This colorful, tuneful, G-rated romp made the children in Saturday morning's screening audience happy; what more do we want? I enjoyed watching a flock of endangered blue macaws do "The Wave" to show their applause during a soccer match and their appreciation for a musical number. Their aerial ballet had echoes of both Esther Williams and Busby...
Published 3 months ago by Jay B. Lane

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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Rio 2' features terrific cast, beautiful colors, but clustered plot
Animated sequels often suffer from the same amount of scrutiny and criticism as the rest of big Hollywood sequels. It can easily become a daunting task to not only create a successful animated film (which is no guarantee these days), but to also make the sequel as entertaining as the original. Recent and extremely lackluster sequels, such as Cars 2, Shrek the Third, and...
Published 3 months ago by FNDNreview


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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Happy Wife is a Happy Life, April 9, 2014
This review is from: Rio 2 (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
What can I say? This colorful, tuneful, G-rated romp made the children in Saturday morning's screening audience happy; what more do we want? I enjoyed watching a flock of endangered blue macaws do "The Wave" to show their applause during a soccer match and their appreciation for a musical number. Their aerial ballet had echoes of both Esther Williams and Busby Berkeley: You know, those dazzling kaleidoscopic effects.

Our hero, Blu, lives with his lovely mate Jewel and their three offspring in Rio de Janeiro. She would like to visit her old jungle haunts and maybe reconnect with her family; on the other hand, he is city born and bred but adores her, so agrees to a little vacation trip ("A happy wife is a happy life"). Their adventure begins.

We follow:
* Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) raised to be a "Companion" for environmentalist Linda, he has now mastered flight but finds he must contend with Jewel's macho father out in the wild. His fanny pack contains a GPS unit ("Recalculating...") and an electric toothbrush.
* Jewel (Anne Hathaway) adores her little family but is concerned for The Flock as deforestation encroaches on their territory.
* Linda (Leslie Mann) is as sweetly earnest as ever, this environmentalist is now very concerned about the deforestation of the Amazon rain forest.
* Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) is her clumsy ornithologist who goes on treks with her because he is still looking for a (possibly extinct) flock of blue macaws.
* Roberto (Bruno Mars) seems to be a contender for Jewel's affections.
* Big Boss (Miguel Ferrer) runs that evil logging operation with massive bulldozers, earth movers and tree-cutting equipment.
* Nico (Jamie Foxx) provides the vocals for "Crazy Love."
* Aunt Mimi (Rita Moreno) provides a bit of comic relief that the parents will appreciate.
* Nigel (Jemaine Clement) is a down-on-his luck fellow forced to work as a fortune teller's assistant in a street show. He wears a Pagliacci-type costume to cover the bald spot from his male pattern feather loss.
* Gabi (Kristen Chenoweth) is a poisonous dart tree frog who sings everything from showtunes to opera. She is desperately in love with Nigel.

The villain this time would be the logging companies that are stripping the trees from the Amazon jungle. The movie makes it very clear that even though the birds have some natural enemies, their worst long-term problem is loss of habitat.

The most impressive things to me, are the editing and the artwork: The editing is to the beat of a Samba-flavored soundtrack; the artwork includes a bird's-eye view of Rio's favelas (shantytowns) which cling to the mountain sides. BTW, Sergio Mendez is the music producer working with Brazilian director Carlos Saldanha ("Ice Age" and "Rio").
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Rio 2' features terrific cast, beautiful colors, but clustered plot, April 11, 2014
This review is from: Rio 2 (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
Animated sequels often suffer from the same amount of scrutiny and criticism as the rest of big Hollywood sequels. It can easily become a daunting task to not only create a successful animated film (which is no guarantee these days), but to also make the sequel as entertaining as the original. Recent and extremely lackluster sequels, such as Cars 2, Shrek the Third, and basically any of the Ice Age sequels have all proved that animated sequels desire a great deal more attention than they are typically given. Still, that’s not to say all animated sequels are sub-par, especially when additions like Toy Story 2, Monsters University, and Despicable Me 2 each managed to find success in the shadow of terrific first outings. But, let’s be honest here – Rio was an average animated feature, and it was certainly no Toy Story, meaning the fact that it was given a sequel screams that there’s currently a serious lack of originality from film studios.

Directed by Carlos Saldanha (Rio, Ice Age), Rio 2 once again stars the voice of Jesse Eisenberg as Blu, the accident-prone house bird from Minnesota. In the first film, Blu found the love of his life, Jewel (Anne Hathaway), and now they have a family of their own. They currently live in Rio with Linda (Leslie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro), who have made their way to the Amazon – and happen to stumble upon the possibility of a new flock of Spix Macaws (they are supposedly nearly extinct). Blu and Jewel witness the discovery on the news and the family heads to the Amazon to help with the search.

After arriving in the Amazon, Blu and the family, accompanied by Rafael the Toucan (George Lopez), Pedro the Cardinal (will.i.am), and Nico the Yellow Canary (Jamie Foxx), quickly discovers that Jewel’s father, Eduardo (Andy Garcia), is alive and well. He is the leader of a massive tribe of Spix Macaws, which includes one of Jewels’ childhood friends, Roberto (Bruno Mars) – both of whom find Blu’s domesticated habits to be problematic. And, at the same time, Nigel (Jermaine Clement), the vengeful Cockatoo, and his cohorts, which includes a poisonous frog, Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth), follow Blu to the Amazon with the intent to put an end to him.

For an animated sequel, there is a whole lot going on over the course of the film – yet the strangest thing about all of it is the fact that little of the plot-based elements ever fully establishes the sequel with a clear-cut purpose. One minute this story is about whether or not more Spix Macaws exist, then there’s an abrupt and needless love triangle, followed by the close-minded father dictating all the infallible survival rules of the rain forest. Plus, you have the villain from the previous film, Nigel, seeking revenge, not to mention humans knocking down trees and attempting to kill the Amazon’s inhabitants. On top of all of that, there’s supporting cast members conducting talent show interviews, a flock of rival birds creating a turf war, and Linda and Tulio wondering about with a video recorder documenting the couple’s ridiculous adventure. I don’t know about you, but do you think there are enough plotlines stuffed into a roughly 90-minute movie?

Regardless of the plot issues, the cast is by far the bright spot of the film. Jesse Eisenberg is a tremendous actor that channels Blu’s scatter-brained, awkward demeanor perfectly. Eisenberg simply amplifies every role that he’s involved in, and at no point will viewers be disappointed by his acting or voice work (a notion that should be imbedded into the minds of anyone that believes he won’t make an excellent Lex Luthor in the Man of Steel sequel). He also has wonderful chemistry with the absurdly talented Anne Hathaway, who portrays animated bride. Her role appears to be slightly reduced from the first film, which is no surprise with the massive amount of characters incorporated into this sequel. Never the less, Hathaway has a marvelous voice (and if you haven’t fully heard it, you should check out Les Misérables), but it would have been nice had she been given more of a substantial singing role.

Speaking of singing, Kristin Chenoweth steals the show as a love-struck, poisonous frog. She is given not only a charming character, but the major singing role, too. Again, if you haven’t heard her voice in the past, you should make an attempt to purchase one of her outstanding studio albums. Over the course of the film, her character pines for the villainous Nigel, thus creating several of the film’s most humorous moments. The downsize to Chenoweth’s role is that the rest of the supporting cast suffers, especially Tracy Morgan as the slobbering dog, Luiz – who is only in the film’s opening moments. Oddly enough, Morgan’s witty distinctiveness was one of the bright spots of Rio, so his reduced (cameo) role comes as an unfortunate disappointment.

Naturally, a movie titled Rio should probably at least take place in Rio, yet that’s not the case here. The sentiment of the location is fully intact, but like Madagascar, the plot takes the characters to a new, grander location. Naturally, this new direction broadens the landscape of the film’s universe, all while establishing new characters and so on and so forth. Still, if Rio 2 is ultimately a success (and it’s hard to imagine it wouldn’t be), Rio 3 will likely need to create a reason for the characters to migrate back to Rio. Otherwise, Rio 3 could simply change its name to The Jungle Book (never mind, that’s already taken).

Overall, Rio 2 is another beautifully colorful animated feature. Still, it’s not an exceptional sequel, nor is it disappointing, either. The majority of the characters from the first film are back for more fun, albeit with reduced roles. Clearly, the plot of Rio is jumbled, but it’s hard to imagine the kids voicing any kind of complaint. Adults will be entertained, too, but you’ll notice a few oddities in the movie, including the art of “war” being the equivalent of a soccer match, and the blatant message that humans are a danger to the survival of the Amazon. The issue of protecting the rainforests (referred to as “tree hugging” in the movie) serves a vitally important role in the climax of the movie. Regardless of the thematic messages and the fact that the film’s plot is too clustered and overly ambitious, Rio 2 will is still recommended as a safe choice for a family outing.

GRADE: C
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!!!, May 7, 2014
This review is from: Rio 2 (Amazon Instant Video)
Love Rio..but Rio 2 even better!

I want to see it again... for the young and the young at heart!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars TERRIBLE QUALITY, July 8, 2014
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This review is from: Rio 2 [HD] (Amazon Instant Video)
I paid for HD and the movie was terrible quality. The movie itself is good. It looked like you were watching a bootleg copy of the movie. It was very bad quality
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GET THE FLOCK OUT OF HERE,, April 19, 2014
This review is from: Rio 2 [HD] (Amazon Instant Video)
This is another song filled film that my grand niece loved. Rumors that a flock of Blues might live deep in the Amazon causes Blue, Jewel, the three kids, and the usual suspects to venture there. If they can find the endangered species, they can save the rain forest from the evil logging company.

Jewel unites with family and an old friend that causes some jealous feelings in Blue who was a 'pet" for the humans. The film climaxes to an ending that was inspired by Hitchcock. Good fun for the whole family, especially preteen girls.

Doesn't quite measure up to the first film, but still a worthy sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a rental, July 18, 2014
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This review is from: Rio 2 [HD] (Amazon Instant Video)
When sequels usually end up being a waste of time to watch, this one is entertaining enough that I didn't mind sitting through it with the kids. I thought the plot was very predictable, however, I've watched way more movies than my children so they loved it. Couple of cute if a bit cheesy musical numbers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rio 2, July 20, 2014
This review is from: Rio 2 (3D Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
It isn't often that a sequel can live up to the original, but Rio 2 manages to pull it off. In this movie, Blue and Jewel take a family trip to the Amazon where they are reunited with Jewel's father who they believed was killed in a forest fire. They also discover they aren't the last of their species as they had feared. There is a whole flock living deep in the Amazon, but the threat of deforestation makes their extinction a real possibility. Blue is anxious to get home, especially since Jewel's father gives him a hard time about being a pet, but Jewel is drawn to the wild that was originally her home. The two of them have to decide what's best their family--stay in the wild or return to their owners and the safety of their home in Rio.

Rio 2 is an adorable movie with tons of great songs and fun characters. My kids enjoyed the rivalry with the red macaws and the soccer game that ensued. It was also fun to see Nigel return along with his love-struck frog sidekick. There was plenty of action and lots of bright colors. My family enjoyed this movie just as much as the original and my kids were thrilled that there favorite birds were back in flight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Number 2, July 15, 2014
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This review is from: Rio 2 (Amazon Instant Video)
Cute, but not as good as the first one. It had a few funny scenes and a lot of pro enviro agenda messages if that is your thing.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a total disappointment but still could have been a bit better., July 5, 2014
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This review is from: Rio 2 (Amazon Instant Video)
Lot of good songs in this one like the first, i'd even go as far to say it outdid the first movie when it comes to the songs. This movie to me still fell a bit sort though, it felt more like what one would expect the 3rd movie to feel like. I would have loved to see more development between blu and jewel before getting into "family life" but it is what it is. The good thing is I don't feel I wasted money on buying the movie but it's not one i'm going to watch again for some time. I write this review as someone who enjoys animated movies not as someone looking at this movie with the view point "will it be fun for kids" (witch it will btw).
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1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time and money, July 22, 2014
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This review is from: Rio 2 (Amazon Instant Video)
We had been pleasantly surprised with the first Rio, and we had heard good reviews for Rio 2. When we saw we could streamline it, we thought it would be perfect for a family movie night. Well, it was very disappointing. Main plot was sadly predicatble and then there was just this overall add ins of characters and subplots that were misplaced or mostly unnecessary. My daughter and I were the only ones to watch it through, and I pretty much stayed to keep her company. She's 10 and she thought it was pretty bad also. Very disappointing, esp after the first .
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Rio 2
Rio 2 by Carlos Saldanha
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