Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway & Andy Garcia
Set at New Year, Blu (Eisenberg) Jewel (Hathaway) and their three children are catapulted into a new start as they leave their comfortable lives and head to the Amazon to investigate the rumours that they are not the only ones of their kind left. Blu is thrown completely out of his comfort zone as he struggles to adapt to the wild Amazon lifestyle as well as trying to impress his newly discovered Father-In-Law (Garcia) and stay out of the way of old enemy Nigel (Jemaine Clement).
First of all, the film is not worth seeing in 3D. It dims a lot of the colours and makes the picture unfocused so whilst, at times, the film looks beautiful and vibrant with bursts of colour, and some wonderful sequences in the musical numbers, it was a shame that it was done in 3D as it ruined the overall setting of the beautiful, exotic Amazon. Having said that, some of the animation, notably Kristin Chenoweth’s pink poisonous frog is simple yet stunning, so whilst at times the 3D makes the movie difficult to watch, some of the genius in the animation is not completely lost.
Similar to the first movie, the characters of Blu and Jewel are overshadowed by the supporting cast, particularly Will.I.Am and Jamie Foxx as the comic relief duo Pedro and Nico, who are trying to cast performers for the upcoming carnival. Will.I.Am’s eccentricity shines through even as an animated bird which compliments Foxx’s ‘feisty yet soft-under-the-surface-‘ character that he voices so well. Also the reprise of Clement as the vengeful Nigel provides a bit of class to the erratic nature of the movie not forgetting his epic yet bizarre rendition of ‘I Will Survive’ that proved to be the most memorable part of the movie.
Whilst somewhat forgettable, the music in this movie creates atmosphere and helps gloss over the sometimes contrived script. With the overload of bright colours and the soulful (well suited) voice of Bruno Mars, the film at times felt more like a musical and proved to be the strongest parts of the movie. The script was simple and easy to follow with good intentions (raising awareness of environment issues and the importance of family) however as an adult, I kept finding myself bored. I feel what the creators of this movie really missed was the opportunity to make this film entertaining for adults as well as children as we have seen in the last couple of years, this is what can make an animated movie really successful.
Overall, I feel that the movie was lacking the charm of its predecessor and whilst it was stronger in parts (mainly the musical parts) it didn’t have the energy and wit that it needed to carry such a simple storyline. With some stand out performances, it fumbled its way through the awkward script, however I will unfortunately not be waiting with baited breath for the inevitable Rio 3.