Rio (2011) - Film Review
Rio de Janeiro: the land of Carnaval, Samba, Duran Duran, and talking birds.
This is not even about a character named Rio, it’s simply set in Rio de Janeiro. From the brightly colored plumage of the birds who are the main characters in this, to the crazy costumes people wear in Carnaval. This is the kind of movie where they love to bring in the over ethnic types. You have the character coming in rolling his neck and making all types of mediocre, stereotypical jokes. This is the company that was behind Ice Age, in fact the director Carlos Saldanha did the last two Ice Age films. This movie is like an homage to his homeland. So the story centers around a very blue, domesticated Macaw, appropriately named Blue voiced by Jesse Eisenberg, and his owner who he grew up with when he was abandoned as a child named Linda voiced by Leslie Mann, who are the best of friends. They do everything together from brushing their teeth to eating and life is just dandy until one day, this guy who runs an aviary in South America explains to her that she has a very rare bird, the last of its kind, and they need him to breed with the last female of their kind. Linda initially doesn’t want to do it, and he doesn’t want to do it because they like their little bookstore they have together in middle of nowhere Minnesota. But she’s eventually convinced and they go to Rio, and sure enough, when they bring innocent Blue over to this aviary, he’s taken away by poachers with the help of an evil Cockatoo named Nigel voiced by Jemaine Clement. So Blue’s caught in the wild, can’t fly, and he’s chained to Jewel voiced by Anne Hathaway. Jewel just wants to be free, and Blue wants to get back with his owner, but before any of that happens they have to get separated from each other while also trying to survive the wild of Rio. I liked some of the voices and I was pleasantly surprised by some of them because I didn’t know who they were. There are two wisecracking birds, voiced by Jamie Foxx and Will.i.am. and they had some numbers in there that really took advantage of the Brazilian culture and colors too. The animals had great texture on them with feathers and body, very elaborate. You could tell the work that went into those characters. There’s two scenes where they do the musical numbers, one is kind of reggaeton, samba-electro type mixture they had with a club. It’s not so much that the songs are really any good as much as that they are just flawlessly animated. Really colorful, full of motion and really innovative to watch. They’re mesmerizing and make fantastic use of the 3D technology which is rare these days. There were some annoying characters like George Lopez as a toucan, who really just resonate George so much that you can’t invest his character. I did think Tracy Morgan was going to get on my nerves but he really did make me laugh as a bulldog with an extreme case of slime mouth. So story-wise, this is the lower end of these talking-animal animated movies that usually involve all these characters going from point A to point B. Point B meaning that they got to get back home usually and along the way the character make a lot of funny faces and talk really loud. I enjoyed this enough to where I would suggest for at least a one-time watch.