The original Rio had a lot going for it. The story wasn’t bad. At least, it moved about a bit, with birdnappers in the city creating a frisson of excitement.
Now, three years later, comes the next phase in the history of Blu, the rare macaw, who was rescued from smugglers and brought up among wingless, two-legged creatures like Linda, a well meaning, drippy girl thing who would like to save the world, but saves a bird instead.
Blu thinks that he and his lady, Jewel, and their three chicks, now growing into cheeky American kids (birds), are the last of their breed. But he discovers from a clip on TV News that others exist along the Amazon.
The film is about family roots, where you come from, where you belong.
On their return to South America, Jewel has a toe curling reunion with her father, while Blu is treated as an outsider, a human pet.
Layers of sentimentality clog up the works to such an extent that even the synchronised flying sequences and cheesy ballads from the Simon Cowell songbook cannot stave off waves of nausea. As well as sinking into a morass of sugary fizz, a serious question bursts to the surface: are children really interested in emotional cohesion within communities?
Don’t they want action?
There is a game, a kind of midair football, between The Blues and The Reds, but that’s about it until near the end when the real villains, the loggers, turn up with their monster machines and army of chainsawers.
Comic relief is provided by traditional goofy oddballs, but they don’t cut it.
Even the bad tempered cockatoo, Nigel, is back, behaving like a disabled luvvie who can’t fly.
Where is this going?
Don’t ask. It’s already gone.