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Movie review: Animated 'Rio 2' never takes wing

Published April 11, 2014 9:44 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The bird-brained animated sequel "Rio 2" is like a taxidermist's turkey: overstuffed and lifeless.

The romantic leads of the first "Rio," city-raised blue macaw Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) and his rare tropical mate, Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway), learn that their bird-loving humans have found a flock of blue macaws deep in the Amazon jungle.

So they, along with their three kids, fly to the Amazon to join the flock led by Jewel's father (voiced by Andy Garcia), who looks down his beak at the less-than-manly Blu. Alongside this "Meet the Parents" plot steal, there are subplots involving ravenous loggers, the bird pals from the first movie, and the revenge of Blu's old nemesis Nigel (voiced by Jemaine Clement).

The high spot in this tired affair is the soundtrack, which mixes Sergio Mendes' rhythms with some strange cuts — none stranger than Kristin Chenoweth's ballad as a poisonous frog who's lovesick for Nigel.

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'Rio 2'

Opens Friday, April 11, at theaters everywhere; rated G; 101 minutes.