Thursday, 10 July 2014

Rio 2 (2014)

Another animated movie based on another species of animal, why? because they can and its another easy money maker. I'm waiting for an animated movie based on dung beetles and elephants...why? I dunno, they haven't milked them yet so game on, we're clearly gonna get an animated movie about every flippin creature on Earth eventually.

So the first film was set in Rio and I'm guessing this film will move into the rain forest? did you see that coming? So I'm guessing as the film is set deep within the Amazonian rain forest the plot will cover the destruction of the rain forest and 'Blu' and co becoming naturalised to jungle life...see that coming? Is any of this film even remotely original in any sense? does it even try?! the answer is no, this is merely the same formulaic albeit gorgeous looking CGI flick we've now seen about a thousand times.

So the film is a formulaic cookie cutter production and like other identical films there are a few positive things I can mention. Firstly the visuals are of course sumptuous, I mean really bright bold glossy colourful and extremely well animated. This is naturally no real surprise as these days CGI movies have reached a point where the skills and computer technology are in their prime, you expect them to look stunning, you know they will, its so routine that you could actually argue that people don't even notice the visuals anymore.

The other thing I like about these films is how they manage to highlight typical traits of the particular species in question, both behavioural and environmentally. This normally covers obvious things we all know about the specific species and their habitat, common knowledge, but also little winks or tit bits that maybe someone with that extra bit of animal knowledge might spot...which is cool. This normally also covers the various other creatures in the film too, for example the dart frog character being pointed out as not actually poisonous and spotting the various tropical birds hidden throughout the foliage.

In all honesty though apart from that most of this film is the same spiel all over again. You have all the same characters from the nerdy yet plucky hero who is utterly useless, the lively kids, the sidekicks voiced by various famous people, usually a rap star of some kind, to the stereotypically British voiced bad guy who sounds like Tim Curry and his own silly sidekick. Yeah sure there are some reasonable visual gags here and there but really the entire film hinges on the likable dastardly vocal performance of Jemaine Clement, everything else is dull. So cliche that 'Eduardo' the gruff father has a buzz cut style tuft on his head, is this Macaw from the 50's USA?

I must also be negative about the use of way too many song sequences, is it possible a new animated film can actually make it through its run time without one dreadful rap/hip-hop tune? no apparently not. It seems either Hollywood or kids these days love this stuff because every CGI animated flick seems to have some hip-hop or rap in it which instantly destroys any self respect or quality the film was aiming for in my opinion. Add to this the now statutory inclusion of rap/hip-hop/pop stars for voice work too, plenty of folk out there but yeah sure, lets use some bland untalented popstars just to lure in more kids.

I still don't get how this particular universe is suppose to even work, they are real birds and squawk or chirp when communicating with humans. They live like birds, eat like everything like real birds...yet Blu owns his own tiny GPS, electric toothbrush and various other tiny items that seem to have been made...for birds? Yeah I know I'm being extremely picky over a silly kids movie but I just couldn't help but think to myself...where would Blu possibly get this stuff from?? Quite liked how the word 'pet' is a dirty word for the birds though.

Business as usual then, wash rinse and repeat formula, safe but sorry, if it ain't broke?...or was it maybe broke from the start?? *raise eyebrow*. The finale is daft and kinda spoils what little the film had going for itself, its not like the film even mocks itself, it takes itself relatively seriously in terms of the adventure. Grandiose in the eye candy department, wetter than mackerels bumhole, friendlier than a very friendly fat handlebar moustached German in tight leather lederhosen, ecologically sound (and shoved down your throat) and with more cutesy critters than you can wave your gun at. Its the same as everything else but its about birds...and its a sequel.