Writer: Casey ChongWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Rio”, “Madagascar” trilogy, “The Wild”, “Happy Feet”, “Happy Feet Two”, all four “Ice Age” movies, “Open Season”, “The Bee Movie” and “Over The Hedge”.
Throughout the years, 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios had gained a lot from the "Ice Age" movies and then there was a new animation hit, "Rio" in 2011, a fun-filled colourful feature which proved to be a surprise hit at the worldwide box office. And like the "Ice Age" movies, it's certainly inevitable that the filmmakers behind "Rio" are back for the second go-round in "Rio 2".
After the events of "Rio", two rare blue macaw birds, Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) are now living happily with their three cute children - Tiago (Pierce Gagnon), Carla (Rachel Crow) and Bia (Amandla Stenberg) - at the city of Rio de Janeiro. Then one day Blu's former owner, Linda (Leslie Mann) and her husband, Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro), discover proof at the Amazon rainforest that the so-called rare species of the blue macaws are not really endangered after all. The jungle-bred Jewel feels hopeful when she learns about the fact and convinces Blu that the family should fly off to the Amazon rainforest to find the rest of the blue macaws. Together with their best pals, toucan Rafael (George Lopez), cardinal Pedro (will.i.am) and canary Nico (Jamie Foxx), they venture into the wilds. Once there, Jewel is surprised to reunite with her long-lost father, Eduardo (Andy Garcia) and the rest of her family. As Jewel and her kids have no problem blending with their new habitat, Blu has problem trying to fit in since he can't get rid of his city-bird mentality. Meanwhile, the evil cockatoo Nigel from "Rio" (Jemaine Clement) is desperate for revenge against Blu and Jewel with the help of his worshipping poisonous frog Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth) and anteater Charlie. And that's not all as illegal loggers, led by the cold-hearted Big Boss (Miguel Ferrer), ends up kidnapping Linda and Tulio and determines to cut down the forest at all costs.
If the above synopsis sounds like an overstuffed plot crammed into a compact 101 minutes long, it sure does feel like one. The story is basically nothing to write home about, and all the typical messages such as save the environment and protect your family, are as cliched as they get.
But thankfully, "Rio 2" is jammed with enough fun to keep the viewers entertained. The music and the songs - ranging from the rhythmic vibes of Brazilian bossa nova and samba to an array of contemporary tunes featuring artistes like Janelle Monae ("What Is Love") and Bruno Mars ("Welcome Back") - are downright excellent. This reviewer is particularly impressed with Kristin Chenoweth's showstopping tune of "Poisonous Love" at which she sings her heart out to express her forbidden love for Nigel.
The returning casts from "Rio" (e.g. Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway) are as appealing as ever, while newcomers to the "Rio" series such as Andy Garcia's perfectly-typecast performance as Jewel's authoritarian father, Eduardo; Bruno Mars' smooth-talking macaw, Roberto; and Kristin Chenoweth's scene-stealing performance as Gabi, who is madly in love with Nigel, are all equally superb.
Likewise, the animation - from the fancy animal characters to the detailed background imagery - is simply eye-catching and striking enough to keep your eyes glued to the screen.
ours goes to "The Lego Movie" and "Mr. Peabody And Sherman" thus far), "Rio 2" will most likely entertain the viewers who have enjoyed "Rio" and this reviewer is not surprised at all if it hits the jackpot again at the worldwide box office.Cinema Online, 03 April 2014