With Disney’s Frozen currently warming audience’s hearts within its cold locations, Rio 2 is back with another trailer that makes me think the film will leave adult audiences cold in one of the warmest places on Earth. The general guideline for creating a sequel is to do things bigger and better, and while I’ll concede Rio 2 seems to have adhered to that rule well enough, they’re building upon a film that really wasn’t all that great to begin with, despite Rio’s often exquisite location animation. But while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, story quality tends to have more of an across-the-board standard.
The film follows the family adventures of Blu and Jewel as they pack up and leave the relatively easy lifestyle that Rio de Janeiro affords them so that their three domesticated kids Carla, Bia and Tiago can learn how to live the real "bird life" in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. Plus, they get to help Linda (Leslie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) find more blue macaws. Once there, they run into Jewel’s boisterous father Eduardo (Andy Garcia), as well as her smooth-as-silk crooner ex-boyfriend Roberto (Bruno Mars), both of which make Blu’s life just that much more miserable. While they meet a host of new and slightly interesting characters, the past comes back to haunt them as that cockatoo Nigel (Jermaine Clement) is back to avenge his defeat in the first film.
I have no doubt kids will dig this movie, because there are lots of colorful characters – including Tracy Morgan’s drooling bulldog Luiz and will.i.am’s lyrical cardinal – but there really aren’t any jokes worth mentioning or remembering in this trailer, via iTunes Movie Trailers (opens in new tab). If anything, the lack of obvious (even cheap) humor makes Rio 2 seem more like a bad children’s movie with real people in it rather than talking CGI animals. I suppose it’s meant to be funny when Kristin Chenoweth’s high-voiced tree frog Gabi fails to laugh very menacingly, but evil villain laughs haven’t been funny since Austin Powers ran that joke into the ground. I guess not that many kids have seen Austin Powers yet, so my ancient-man opinion can be seen as moot.
Paired up with the first trailer, which you can see below, this is another example of the brilliant animators and designers at Blue Sky Studios doing their best to raise lackluster story material to greater heights. I’m hoping the final product is better than these teasers, especially since its April 11, 2014 release date has no other children’s fare for weeks before and after. Unless kids really want to watch Arnold Schwarzenegger slowly kick ass in David Ayer’s Sabotage.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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