I didn’t watch the original ‘Rio’ until earlier this year, and the only reason I did that was because my kids really wanted to see ‘Rio 2’ and I refuse to see a sequel without first seeing the original (or something like that). I don’t know. ‘Rio’ was playing on the Disney Channel or something like that and so I decided to give it a go despite not being interested in seeing it at all.
So, I rather hated the original. It’s not that the film is bad, it’s just so dull. How can something so bright and cheery and colorful be so unexciting?
Sadly, I had the same question while watching ‘Rio 2’.
For a film that has so much going on, so many different characters, so many side plots, so many voices and, like I mentioned, so many colors, there is something so incredibly mundane and uninteresting about ‘Rio 2’ that it winds up being a complete bore of a film. I know that this is not the consensus (or is it?) but I can’t help but be completely bewildered by all the praise that this film, and the original, received from my friends and family.
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I can’t say that ‘Rio 2’ is bad. It’s not. Like I said, the original ‘Rio’ wasn’t a bad film either, but both films threatened to put me to sleep, and while ‘Rio 2’ has that one segment that could be considered my favorite scene in film this year (so far, obviously), it also proves to be an even more ridiculously mediocre film than the original.
I have so many stupid qualms about this film. Like, why is it simply called ‘Rio 2’? The film doesn’t take place in Rio at all, outside of like three scenes in the beginning. Why couldn’t they have called this ‘Rio: Rock the Amazon’ or something equally ridiculous? Second, why does every film (cartoon, whatever) involving animals have to be reduced to ‘save the environment’ types of heavy handed politics? I’m all for preserving Mother Nature, but they don’t have to make everything a political/environmental statement. The cliché ridden plot made this feel like an animated version of ‘Meet the Parents’ for a while, and Jesse Eisenberg (and even my beloved Anne Hathaway) just don’t have the vocal abilities to carry an animated film. Eisenberg sounds out of place and Hathaway sounds so bland (also, why isn’t she ever singing?).
But thank Jesus that Jermaine Clement returned as Nigel. Even in the original, Nigel proved to be this breath of fresh air, but here he is even more hilariously awesome. Teamed up with a poison tree frog, Nigel is the comedic center point this film needed, but sadly whenever he is off the screen the film is a giant pile of wasted time. Gabi is an inspired addition to the film (a frog in love with a bird) and her musical moment (the hilarious ‘Poisonous Love’) is the single best scene in the film and quite possibly the funniest musical moment in any film I’ve ever seen.
I just wish it had been part of a better film.
This is a harmless film, and the loud annoying music does make the kids happy, but this is such a bore. I’m kind of baffled that the kids are remotely interested in this movie, but then again most kids have ADD and are drawn to loud, shiny things, no matter how pointless they are.
I guess I give this a C-. I mean, it could easily be a D, since I've already forgotten most of it, but then again, that song is just perfection and those villains deserve more than a D, so there's that. Will Oscar bite, like they did with the first one? I'm not so sure. I would say that an Animated Feature nomination is out of the question, but if justice prevails then 'Poisonous Love' will get an Original Song nomination, but I kind of doubt it. I see this getting snubbed all the way around, actually.