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Not all sequels are per definition bad ones. Sequels can be fine, as long as you still put some creativity and real effort into the making of it and don't make it seem like just another, quick and safe, cash-grab by purely relying on the success of the first movie. Well, that's exactly what "Rio 2" does unfortunately, though I still wouldn't go as far to call this movie a terrible one as well.

It's a typical sequel really and an extremely mediocre one as well, in just about every regard. It's mostly bringing back all of the familiar characters from the first movie, even while there is no real need and purpose for most of them to be in this movie again. But to make the movie even more overcrowded, there of course get some new characters introduced in the movie as well. It only means that there are some more needless and predictable side-plots in the movie, that mostly aren't going anywhere. It should have focused on just one good thing really but instead, the movie is focusing on a whole bunch of different smaller, insignificant- and in some cases even disconnected, simplistic plot lines, involving a lot of the different characters. I can't even tell what this movie primarily was supposed to be about.

The overabundance of plot lines ensured that I lost interested in the movie and all of its characters pretty early on already. Both the story and characters feel underdeveloped and it relies too much on it that you have already seen the first movie and still remember every little detail about it. But really, I don't even remember that Blu and Jewel got married (because that's what birds in love do of course...) and had kids, or why Nigel was such an evil bird again and why Nico, Pedro and Rafael are still hanging with the Blu gang, even though Blu and his family pay absolutely no attention, ever, to any of them in this movie. This sequel does nothing to ever refresh your memory again really and it in return also isn't providing anything new, that works out as something interesting or engaging, with either its story or with any of its 'fresh' new characters.

The one thing this movie especially could have used was a good main villain, or big threat. Sure, Nigel is back again but really, is he even ever doing anything evil in this movie? I guess that the biggest 'threat' in this movie is Blu's family in law, who is giving him a bit of a hard time, with the emphasis on bit and Jewel's old sweetheart, who's heavily flirting with her. But really, if your wife and the mother of your children is flirting back with another bird on your honeymoon (because again, that's what birds do of course...) and you are already having some serious falling outs with her, then perhaps marrying wasn't such a good idea in the first place. Yes, maybe that's the most important message of this movie; to not just dive into marrying the first bird that comes on your path, until you know each other inside and out and also know absolutely certain that there won't be any insurmountable difficulties or unforeseen surprises in the near future, such as a harsh and demanding family-in-law, who doesn't even know that you exists, or an old sweetheart who's still after your girl.

I'm not entirely serious of course. I can still see what this movie was truly primarily trying to do and say with its story. It's yet again one of those preachy movies about saving the environment, or in this case specifically, the cutting down of the Amazon rainforest. But instead of explaining and teaching to children why this is such a bad thing, it's just showing the lumberjacks as a bunch of underdeveloped mustache twirling villains, who cut down trees for pleasure and are just evil for the sake of being evil. I seriously doubt that any young kid is going to be receptacle to any of the movie its 'serious' messages and are only going to pay attention to the bright colors and visuals of the movie and the many songs and dance numbers that are in it, performed by some cute and/or silly looking characters.

I personally can't really say that this movie was a very funny or entertaining one though. Again, this is all mostly due to the lack of creativity and everything that happens in this movie feels far too formulaic and predictable, including all of the comedy of the movie. It's too much jumping and crashing into stuff and the movie never becomes funny due to any solid or creative writing, which is a disappointing thing of course.

But no, as far as animated movies, targeted primarily toward young kids go, this one really isn't the worst movie or sequel that is out there. Like I mentioned before, the visuals are all still pretty nice and impressive to look at and all of the characters have a pleasant and distinctive look to them. It may be lacking a good focus but the movie still remains a fast paced one, so when you watch it you really won't notice all of the flaws and weaknesses of it. You can still enjoy this movie if you allow yourself to but those who are a bit more demanding and are looking for something new and creative are definitely better off skipping this movie.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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