Saturday, April 12, 2014

Rio 2 movie review from a tired mom

Movie Title:  Rio 2
G, 1 hour 41 minutes

Grade:   C+

In a Nutshell:   Forgettable.  Young children will be entertained, although the 4 year old sitting behind me kept asking his mother “Can we go home?”  That’s a not a good sign coming from the target audience. 

  • Birds of a feather flock together?
  • Humans are evil and destroy the planet.  (I’m getting really tired of hearing that from every movie I see lately.)
  • Brazil is always ready for a party.

Things I liked:
  • The colors are bright and fun, like watching a box of Fruit Loops explode on the big screen.
  • I loved all the Brazilian tropical fruits, nuts, plants, and local products on display.
  • The animation of the water in the Amazon River looked terrific.
  • The only scene that made me laugh out loud was the talent show audition scene. 
  • I thought all of the hats Nico tried on were cute.  I’m assuming Jamie Foxx’s character had a larger role in the first Rio?  I never saw it.
  • Jesse Eisenberg is capable of playing smooth geniuses (The Social Network and Now You See Me ), as well as unconfident underdogs.
  • Beautiful aerial views of Brazil.  I loved the montage of paper pop-up maps as they traveled through the landscapes and cities.  It makes me want to plan a trip to the country.
  • The feathers on all of the birds’ heads were well designed and allowed the characters to distinguish their personalities one from the other.  The beaks also had impressive detail.
  • There is a sleepy sloth who sings super fast rap.  Have you ever heard a sloth squeak in real life?  Totally adorable.
  • I thought the Capoeira turtles were hilarious.  Check out this video about Brazilian Capoeira.

Things I didn’t like:
  • I never saw the first Rio .  There is a quick flashback from the first movie to let you know why the cockatiel has a grudge against Blu, but I still felt like I was missing something…like why the first one was popular.  There are minor characters in this movie that were obviously carried over from the first, but since I hadn’t seen the first one, I didn’t feel a bond with them.  Their roles are not that strong in the sequel and didn’t add much to the story. 
  • Many of the actors were underutilized, especially the terrific singing talents of Kristen Chenowith, Jamie Fox, Anne Hathaway, and  There were several songs, but most of them were too short for children to fall in love with or know how to sing them at home (like everyone is STILL doing with the soundtrack from Frozen .)  I couldn’t understand the lyrics in the “big” musical number sung by all the birds, making it even more difficult for the audience to leave the theater repeating them.  Kristen Chenoweth’s song was quite operatic, something a little girl is probably not going to be able to duplicate very well.  Her character’s little frog mouth had cute vibrato while she was singing though and I could hear children in the audience repeating her occasional funny lines.  This little lethal lover is sure to be the standout of the movie with children who beg for movie merchandising.   Bruno Mars sings, but it lasts less than 30 seconds as well.  With all this voice and singing talent, why didn’t director Carlos Saldanha really take advantage of it?
  • Monkeys are usually scene stealers, but in this movie they’re not even cute.
  • I can’t stand all that disgusting drool on the dog.  Why would anyone want a dog that salivates that much all over anything?  The animation was good though.
  • The anteater’s tongue was pretty gross.  Cleverly used throughout the movie, but still gross.

Inspiring lines:
  • “Happy wife.  Happy life.”    True.  The movie shows the sacrifices Blu is willing to make for his family.  Jewel, his "significant other", scolds him for being selfish, but she doesn't sacrifice a single thing for him in this movie.  It goes both ways to have a happy life.

Funny lines:
    • “We’ll attack at the midnight hour, because it’s more evil.”  - Nigel
    • We are going to the Amazon…yay!  (Blu)   Pedro says “Like the website?”
    • “Wow.  Nigel es muy macho.”  - Gabi
    • “I’ll be pooping on your party pronto.” – Nigel
    • “It’s a spoon and a fork.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.” – Blu   “Put down the spork.”  - Tiago
    • “I love it when you get all dark and brooding.”  - Gabi

Tips for parents:  There isn’t as much adult humor to keep you entertained, as other animated films out there right now, such as Mr. Peabody and Sherman, but you can always get a nap out of it.   I almost dozed off a few times, but maybe I was just tired? There are a couple of jokes about poo, but otherwise, the language is perfectly clean.  Thankfully, nobody flips the bird in this film. Your children will be preached to about environmentalism.  The “camera” zooms in on this “No entrance” sign, which most children won’t understand.  “No entrar” means no entrance in Portuguese.  Now you can tell your kids and they'll think you're super smart.

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