‘Rio 2’: A Tropical Blast of 3D Sights and Sounds
By Titus Falodun | 4/11/2014, 1:04 p.m.
ATLANTA – Even in her trademark all-black getup, R&B sensation Janelle Monáe embodied all the colorfulness of “Rio 2,” as she dazzled at the red carpet screening on Monday, April 7, at the Regal Atlantic Station.
Charisma and charm are the things that standout about “The Electric Lady” and former CoverGirl spokeswoman Monáe, who scored the opening song “What is Love” for the highly anticipated sequel, which opens nationwide Friday, April 11.
“I began writing ‘What is Love’ in Atlanta,” Monáe, who is now based in the ATL with her Wondaland Arts Society cohorts, revealed to the packed theater.
“So you can say, Atlanta is the birthplace of ‘Rio2,’” interjected the film’s director Carlos Saldanha.
Blue Sky Studios (“Ice Age” franchise) returns with the follow-up to its 2011 computer-animated hit, featuring Spix’s Macaws Blu and Jewel and their three little birdies, as they venture out of Rio de Janeiro deep into the Amazon rainforest, where they discover a hidden tribe of Spix’s Macaws and more.
The cast of the 101-minute Rated-G 3D-computer animated film is filled with notable voices, such as Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Leslie Mann, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, will.i.am…and even Bruno Mars lends his Grammy-winning vocals, as he swoops in as Roberto, Jewel’s childhood friend who’s too suave for comfort for Blu.
Present adult tension in a childlike environment, “Rio 2” is a balanced with engaging feature for the entire family.
Simply, the film is just as funny and vibrant as the original.
Much of the plot deals with catching up with Blu and family, as they are looking for adventure, flying the coop of their domesticated former life. But exploring nature has its hidden dangers, especially in a jungle where both man and beast have an insatiable appetite for destruction.
One of the many highlights from “Rio 2” is the talent show audition, which sees an array of creatures trying to be the Amazon’s next big star. It gets even more comical, when Nigel, a revenge-thirsty cockatoo (voiced by Jermaine Clement) hits the stage.
There are poignant messages throughout the film too, dealing with the importance of strong familial bonds and the impact of human presence within the nature’s rare rainforests.
20th Century Fox hosted the special red carpet screening of “Rio 2” Monday, at Regal Atlantic Station. Local guests who stopped by the carpet included Ludacris (actor/artist), Curtis Fields (musician), Todd Chrisley (“Chrisley Knows Best”), Matt Bryant (Atlanta Falcons kicker), Meyrick Murphy (“Walking Dead”), Towanda Braxton (Reality TV Star), Torrei Hart (actor), Chauncey Davis (former Atlanta Falcon), Sanjay Gupta (CNN reporter) and Torrei Hart (“Atlanta Exes”).
Although, Monáe and Saldanha got the place jumping when they danced the night away to the rhythmic drums being played on the red carpet. Monáe, in her Aztec-patterned heels was in rare form, displaying intoxicating moves and her glowing spirit.
If the family is feeling a bit blue after this cold and dreary winter, “Rio 2” is just the getaway that will swing the mood into a happy groove.