Rio 2 tries hard not to rehash the first film, but in doing so results in a terrible, shoehorned sequel. The film tries its hardest to not be like the original, pull a Toy Story 2 and do something completely new and inventive. At the same time it attempts to chuck in essentially every character from the first film when none of them have any real impact on the film or are necessary in any way. They feel as if they're just in the film to be in the film. The character of Nigel is both the greatest and most entertaining aspect of the film, but he's also the most unnecessary and forced aspect of the whole movie.
The film is both overly predictable and clichéd. Aside from one situation to do with a battle between the red birds and the blue birds, there wasn't a single moment in this film that I couldn't foresee. The film follows the same, overused structure that we've seen three dozen times over. The entire plot is so cliché ridden that the film comes off as reused, predictable garbage that'll be tossed away and forgotten in a few weeks time, which I'm hoping to do.
The film, although appearing friendly on the outside, is surprisingly dark. I am probably over-analysing the film, but I found it to be overall quite grim. The fact that children's entertainment has fallen to a level that is this dark is very unsettling. The film not only revolves around the idea that "a happy wife equals a happy wife", which is sexist in its own right, but it also features several instances of vicious murders (there's actually a scene in which many animals are slaughtered, but it's looked upon in a comedic way) unnecessary kidnappings, sexual abuse (in my eyes, a forced/unwilling marriage is sexual abuse) and a sequence in which one character is tied up and tortured for no reason. It gets to the point where I was staring at the cinema screen in sheer terror.
To sum up, Rio 2 is another animated sequel to fall flat. The film is predictable, clichéd, recycled garbage that's both dull and forced. As well as that, the film also comes across as part sexist and part torture porn.
1 1/2 Stars