While I found the first ‘Rio’ likeable and often at times, charming; the sequel, however, tries to go bigger, but bigger isn’t always a good thing.
‘Rio 2’ explores Blu, Jewel and their kids when the discovery of more blue macaws lead the family to the Amazon to find the rest of their rare species.
‘Rio 2’s visuals are spectacular, mainly for the vibrant colourful dancing and inventive take on war with a game of soccer, and while the animation is extremely delightful, the score and the film’s soundtrack is often catchy and upbeat.
The film’s main problems lie with the film’s story, it’s just too crowded, therefore becoming unfocused. Several stories compete with each other in this jumbled film. Linda and her husband’s quest to find the blue macaws only to land into trouble with the film’s main antagonist? Seems to be the film’s bigger picture, however due to lack of characterization, and surprisingly very little screen time, the film’s antagonist is a massive disappointment, and is only there just to reinforce the message about nature, the environment and saving the forest. And speaking of antagonists, the first film’s villain is back in this film, however feels like filler than anything, never adding to the story, and in fact, removing Nigel’s scenes in this movie wouldn’t lose the film’s overall story, that’s how useless his side plot was.
Instead, the film’s main focus is on the message of family, but even when Jewel’s father gets introduced, it just comes out of the blue. Maybe they should have took a page from ‘Madagascar 2’s story of introducing this scene at the start, which would have provided a more emotional core to the scene, rather than feeling like exposition just to work into the film’s troubling story.
It’s just unfortunate because ‘Rio 2’ does have potential. However, it’s a flat sequel that’s overcrowded with too many side plots, becoming an unfocused narrative, with uncreative covers to songs, however, the animation and the film’s score is the only thing that’s worth the admission.