Spoiler-Free RIO 2 Movie Review: A Toe-Tappin’, Wing-Flappin’ Good Time

For those of you who have seen 2011’s RIO, you know that the movie was a mix of stunning visuals and dance-able music.  If you are taking the family to see RIO 2 with these expectations, the movie will not disappoint.  Only this time, the plot takes us on a journey to a whole new setting – the Amazon.  Continue reading for our full spoiler-free RIO 2 movie review – in theaters Friday, April 11.

RIO 2: A Toe-Tappin’, Wing-Flappin’ Good Time

RIO 2

RIO 2 begins with an over-the-top musical number, “What Is Love,” performed by Janelle Monae, as we are reintroduced to Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), Jewel (Anne Hathaway), and some new additions to their family, 3 blue Macaw children.  They are living a perfect domesticated life in the city, when Jewel decides they need to live like real birds and venture into the Amazon.  Of course, a musical number accompanies their trip into the wild.

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Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), Jewel (Anne Hathaway) and their three kids are joined by Rafael (George Lopez), Nico (Jamie Foxx) and Pedro (will.i.am) on their Amazon adventure. Blue Sky Studios – TM and © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) wields a spork as he navigates the Amazon. Blue Sky Studios – TM and © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

 

Jewel was originally born here, so she is comfortable in the Amazonian wilds.  But Blu clings to his fanny-pack and human tools as he tries to fit in; and meets the most fearsome adversary of all: his father-in-law (voiced by Andy Garcia).  Another fun addition to the cast is Jewel’s childhood friend Roberto (voiced by Bruno Mars).  His first appearance is hilarious!  Once again we are treated to beautiful music and stunning visuals, a treat for the eyes and ears.  It’s too bad local theaters don’t have dance floors, because that’s all kids will want to do while they’re watching the movie!

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Eduardo (Andy Garcia) Shows his daughter Jewel (Anne Hathaway) and his three grandkids Carla (Rachel Crow), Bia (Amanda Stenberg), and Tiago (Pierce Gangon), the wonders of the Amazon. Blue Sky Studios – TM and © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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Jewel (Anne Hathaway) is wary of the attentions of her ex-beau Roberto (Bruno Mars). Blue Sky Studios – TM and © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

 

But RIO 2 is not just about Blu and Jewel’s family, there are three other plots the movie tries to explore, and this is where the story starts falling apart.  The film is stuffed with big-name voices playing characters that don’t necessarily forward the plot of the film, but rather showcase the actors behind the voices.  Particularly Nico (Jamie Foxx), Rafael (George Lopez), Pedro (will.i.am) and Luiz (Tracy Morgan).  Yes, big name actors, but their plot line could have been cut out of the movie entirely.

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Rafeal (George Lopez), Nico (Jamie Foxx), Pedro (Will.i.am) and Carla (Rachel Crow) fall in love with their new surroundings. Blue Sky Studios – TM and © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

 

Nigel (Jermaine Clement), a cockatoo, and Gabi (voiced by Kristin Chenoweth), a poisonous frog try to get back at Blu.  And then there’s the baddies that are trying to cut down the Amazonian rainforest.  Ferngully, anyone?  The director of RIO 2 could have picked one of these plots and created a stronger story for the whole film.

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Nigel (Jermaine Clement) is indifferent to the amorous feelings of his acolyte, a poisonous frog named Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth). Blue Sky Studios – TM and © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

 

Throughout the film there are little gags and I noticed kids laughing in all the right places.  Between the music and beautiful imagery, I’m sure there are plenty of children who will be captivated by the movie.  But for adults, it’s not the most memorable of films.  Still, I walked away with Janelle Monae’s “What Is Love” song stuck in my head!  Definitely an enjoyable family outing.

Rio 2 - Janelle Monae

Have you seen RIO 2?  If so, what did you think?  Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a RIO 2 soundtrack and flying Jewel toy (until April 15th).  For more family movie news, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Richard & Sarah Woloski

Richard and Sarah Woloski are the co-hosts and creators of the Disney / Star Wars Podcast Skywalking Through Neverland. The husband and wife team strives to create a polished, positive and fun weekly show celebrating fandom. They also love writing for Adventures By Daddy. Find them @SkywalkingPod