Sometimes I’m too lazy for a full-out piece. Sometimes everything I’ve got to say about a film can be summarized in a sentence or two. Sometimes it’s both. So herewith, a quick-n-dirty on Rio 2:
Before: Oh boy! I do love kiddie films! I wonder if I needed to watch the original Rio, because I haven’t. Ah well; Muppets Most Wanted was a hoot,I’m sure I’m in the right headspace for another fun flick.
During: Oh boy. Maybe I should have thought this through. The animals are gorgeous and incredibly detailed. The humans though? Really slapdash. The animators should be ashamed. Other folks that should be ashamed are the folks that wrote the music. Kristen Chenoweth can do no wrong, but “Poison Love” (with Flight of the Conchords‘ Jemaine Clement as evil cockatoo Nigel) goes on a bit too long and gets too weird. At the end of the song you could have heard a pin drop in the theater; nice trick with a place full of kids amped on Sno-Caps. With all the pretty birdies, focus on Busby Berkley numbers, people. Chenoweth’s frog Gabi is damn cute though. Wonder if they’ll be selling versions in stores?
After: I’m ready to kill any adult that brings a sick kid to the movies. Fear me. The way Rio 2 plodded along, zipped by, then plodded some more didn’t help; I feel like I’ve been on the world’s most boring roller coaster. This film should have focused on one or two storylines, not a baker’s dozen. By the time credits rolled, I’d long since given up caring what would happen to Blu’s family in the Amazon, or if Nigel the cockatoo would get his revenge, if Jewel’s dad would like Blu (and how Blu would deal with rival Fernando), or if the Amazon rainforest would be saved by the insipidly-drawn humans…. More of the adorable Rapping Sloth please! (Bless you, Amy Heidemann. You are one damn talented voice actress.) The 3D was okay but definitely not necessary. The kids in the theater were laughing their respective hind parts off though, so guess Rio 2 did something right.
If I had to grad Rio 2, I’d give it a C. Kids will eat this up, but parents will find the jumbled storytelling and off-kilter pacing tedious.