I will be up front about this: I wasn’t particularly looking forward to seeing “Rio 2” after having seen and disliked the first one in 2011.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by this sequel. It’s colorful and musically entertaining – with all different kinds of music both parents and children alike will enjoy. It was sassy, too.
There was even a cute little animated short before the feature film started called “Almost Home.”
From the moment the movie started, the children in the theater were giggling at potty humor, singing and humming along to the music, and some of them were dancing in their seats. Some of them chatted a bit about the plot, but for the most part, the colorful birds and upbeat music had them quiet for most of the film – not always an easy task.
The main characters from the first installment are all back, along with some new ones. The actors who voiced the characters in the first one are also back, which is a big bonus for the film, especially with the big names that are in it (Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Bruno Mars, will.i.am, Tracy Morgan and Leslie Mann).
This time, after the last two blue spix’s macaws have lived happily ever after and had some baby birds, they find out there could be more of their kind left in the Amazon.
The family takes a trip to the Amazon, along with their friends, to help their human, bird-loving friends and see if they can find the other blue spix’s macaws. From there, the story is pretty predictable, especially if you’ve seen the first one.
The majority of the plot has been given away in the commercials, which is generally pretty frustrating, but the songs and the colorful birds flying around make up for that. There were a couple of slow points in the middle, but for the most part, like most children’s movies, things kept moving, and it was always only a few minutes until the next musical number started.
Despite most of the story being in the commercials, this film actually has an enjoyable plot. In the first “Rio” movie, I felt as though the movie was ridiculous and boring – the music and dancing and colors couldn’t even save it. But in the sequel, there was a point to the movie. There were life lessons: Don’t cut down the rainforest, sometimes you have to compromise with people in order for everyone to be happy and even enemies can come together to fight for a common goal.
“Rio 2” is nowhere near the top of my list for best children’s movies, but I would recommend it for parents, grandparents or babysitters who are looking for something to entertain young children for an hour-and-a-half. It was far less painful for a grown up to sit through than some other children’s films.
Reporter Samantha Madison contributes to the Now Showing blog for movie reviews.
Digiplex Destinations, located at 3431 Simpson Ferry Road and 4950 Carlisle Pike, Hampden Township, provides The Sentinel with a seat for screenings for the newspaper's movie reviews.
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