One of the last animated films that I am watching from this year, Rio is not the strongest film but was certainly a better option than last week’s Bullhead. There is action, humor, romance, and culture–these four positives mixed with excellent animation makes for a fairly good evening movie option.
Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) is one of the last two blue Macaws left in the world. When he was a young hatchling, he was stolen from Rio de Janeiro, but somehow finds his way into the loving hands of Linda (Leslie Mann). The two grow up together in small town called Moose Lake, Minnesota, and eventually own a book shop. When Tulio comes around, everything changes. He convinces Linda that she and Blu need to travel to Rio so that he can mate with another blue Macaw. When they arrive in the midst of Carnival, we discover that the tropical bird smugglers are still at it and Blu and his ravishing counterpart Jewel (Anne Hathaway) are the targets. Through thievery, colorful jungles, and touching attempts to teach Blu how to fly, we watch as both Blu and Jewel, and Linda and Tulio grow closer as they search frantically for the other pair.
Although the film is beautiful and the idea seems legit, it turns out to be a pretty forgettable film. It won’t wow you like Shrek or entertain you like Nemo. It is a fun filled adventure where you root for the good guy and want the right people to fall in love. There are small side parts that bring a little amusement, and none are overdone. However, the whole film is so low key and so not over the top that once it was over, I promptly forgot about it.
I liked the characters, the voices, the animation, and even the story. The execution was lacking, and that was what hurt Rio. If you have some time to kill, it wouldn’t be a bad film to watch, but I would rather curl up with an old classic than add this one to my Netflix list.