Rio 2 Blu-ray Review
Sequels can be tricky propositions. Filmmakers want them to be original creations, but they can’t forget what made the first movie so popular. It is a delicate balancing act. That comes into view when reviewing RIO 2. “Rio” was a box office smash that was quite fun and seemed to satisfy both critics and fans. RIO 2 doesn’t quite match the original, but you can’t help liking it.
Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) are blue macaws that are enjoying their domestic bliss in Rio with their three children. In the first film, Blu was taken in by Linda (Leslie Mann) and taken care of for 15 years. Blu was then transported to Rio to mate with Jewel since it was thought he was the last of his kind. Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro), a Brazilian ornithologist, made this happen. This group had to escape smugglers who were trying to profit from having Blu and Jewel. Tulio is now married to Linda. They find evidence that there might be more blue macaws in the Amazon. They announce that on the television which isn’t happy news to some people.
Blu, Jewel and the family decide to go to the Amazon to see if there is indeed more of their kind out there. They are joined by Pedro (will. i. am), a red-crested cardinal and Nico (Jamie Foxx) a yellow canary who is prone to wear a bottle cap hat. These two provide the comic relief whenever they are on screen. They are auditioning acts for their own Carnival show.
There is danger afoot though. Big Boss (Miguel Ferrer) is running an illegal logging operation. He doesn’t want any blue macaws to be found and ruin his profitable plans. There is also Nigel (Jemaine Clement), the evil sulphur-crested cockatoo. He of course was part of the smuggling operation in the first film and was rendered flightless by Blu. He’s got a big grudge going on and wants revenge for his woes. Nigel has the company of Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth) a poisonous dart frog who is in love with him and a silent anteater named Charlie. Jewel finds her long lost father Eduardo (the commanding Andy Garcia) and her childhood friend Roberto (Bruno Mars) in the Amazon. This creates conflict for Blu. Eduardo is not fond of him because of his liking of humans and their ways. Blu is also wary of Roberto and that he may be wooing his wife.
There is a lot going on in RIO 2. I believe there is too much in my mind. You have the Big Boss and the loggers trying to thwart Linda and Tulio of their plans of finding more blue macaws. You have Nigel desperately wanting to kill Blu. There is Blu trying to fit into his new environment and failing. There is also a rivalry between the blue macaws and the scarlet macaws. This involves territory and food rights. That is a lot to take in and keep track of. All of the storylines get short shrift because there just isn’t enough time to go into them in great depth.
The musical interludes range from inspired to overbearing. I really enjoyed the love song that Kristin Chenoweth sang detailing the difficulties a relationship between a bird and poisonous frog would be. It was funny and touching at the same time.
Overall the film did do enough to keep me entertained. It is mainly lighthearted and a lot of energy to go around. The colors that are on the screen are quite breathtaking. It was exciting seeing the different places in Brazil as Blu made his way to the Amazon.
RIO 2 BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: The transfer is beautiful. The colors just bleed through the television screen.
Audio: The sound was good. You can clearly hear the dialogue and the songs.
Rio Refresher (3:12): This goes over the story of the first film.
Deleted Scene-“Practice” (:39): Nigel is getting ready for his audition.
Boom, Shake, Snap: The Local Sounds of Brazil (19:28): We get to meet the Barbatuques. This is a group that creates sounds with their bodies. They also have some wonderful vocalists to go along with that. The musician Carlinhos Brown is also featured. A unique group called Uakti is discussed as well.
Birds and Beats: The Singing Talents of Rio 2 (10:19): This is a feature about the many singers involved in the film.
Nigel the Shakespearean Cockatoo and Friends (7:17): The director and animators go over some of the performances and show how a sequence with Nigel is created.
Music, Dance, Sing-Along Machine: You can listen, dance or sing along to the songs. The dance feature shows a character in the bottom half of the screen you can mimic. For the sing-along feature, lyrics are shown on the screen.
You Be the Judge (1:49): A taper, monkeys and turtles try out before three judges to be in the show.
“What is Love” by Janelle Monae (1:37): A music video by Monae.
“I Will Survive” Multi-Language Sequence (1:58): You hear the song in English, German, Spanish, Italian, Hindi, French, Chinese (Mandarin), Portugese, Korean and Russian.