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Rated G · 101 min. · 2014
Rio 2 (G) If your sole moviegoing goal is to give your kids something to look at for a couple hours, then Rio 2 is just what you’re looking for. It’s colorful and goofy and has a rash of inoffensive (though forgettable) songs. As family entertainment goes, it’s certainly tolerable. The problem is, Rio 2 never tries to be anything more than tolerable. For all the color and exuberant attempts at musical numbers, the film is never more than vaguely palatable. Like its predecessor, Rio (2011), the sequel is just as unmemorable. I reviewed Rio when it first came out and could remember little about it besides Tracy Morgan as a skateboard-riding dog, and even that I’m not sure about. I expect the same for part two, though running something so milquetoast from my memory isn’t the worst thing imaginable. The film picks up with our animated hero Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) — a rare blue macaw and nebbish — and his family venturing off into the wilds of the Amazon where they unexpectedly find Blu’s wife Jewel’s (Anne Hathaway) family. The movie goes in two very familiar directions from here, with Blu having to prove his worth to his overbearing, macho father-in-law (Andy Garcia), while running parallel to the film’s environmentalist message. In neither case is the film exactly original, making the whole ordeal a dull slog through the motions. It’s almost as if the movie prides itself on this kind of rote storytelling — hitting every beat you expect it to and never deviating. For the most part, the songs are innocuous in that radio Top 40 kind of way, catchy enough, but with nothing truly outstanding happening, they’re likely to meld together into an unrecognizable sonic blob before slowly wafting from your memory. But really, that’s what Rio 2 is all about — the relentless search for adequacy.
Official Site: www.rio-themovie.com
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Writer: Don Rhymer and Carlos Saldanha
Producer: John C. Donkin and Bruce Anderson
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, will.i.am, Jermaine Clement, Tracy Morgan, George Lopez, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro, Jamie Foxx and Andy Garcia

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