Bruce Dennill
1 minute read
11 Apr 2014
6:10 am

Movie Review: Blu is back and tougher in Rio 2

Bruce Dennill

The first Rio film was all about a bird named Blu, the (supposed) last of the endangered Blue Macaws, coming to terms with life in Rio de Janiero and making friends with a motley crew of supporting characters as he did so.

A scene from the movie Rio 2. Picture: Supplied

It was a fun, feel-good piece that made viewers smile and feel good about the future of the planet.

Rio 2 is not necessarily less warm and fuzzy, but it does take a harder line on the theme of conservation, as well as including a nifty reference to this year’s Fifa World Cup (to be held in Brazil), via a beautifully animated game of bird football – played in mid-air.

The story begins with Blu (Eisenberg) and his mate Jewel (Hathaway) living the good life in Rio, until news arrives that their human saviours, naturalists Tiago (Pierce Gagnon) and Linda (Leslie Mann) have discovered a previously unknown group of Blue Macaws deep in the Amazon rain forest.

This kicks off an existential crisis for Jewel, who wants to re-connect with members of her own species beyond her own immediate family, and Jewel’s problem soon becomes Blu’s problem, as he’s yanked out of his city bird comfort zone.

What follows is a fairly conventional fish-out-of-water comedy – though the fish is a bird in this case, obviously – combined with a storyline about the greed of the businessmen destroying the forest for its resources, as well as the return of Nigel, the cockatoo villain of the first instalment, who speaks in magnificently peachy tones, courtesy of actor-musician Jemaine Clement.

This is a well-made family film (some of the forest destruction scenes may be upsetting for younger viewers) that offers regular, incisive one-liners for adult viewers to enjoy.