In Rio de Janeiro, baby macaw, Blu, is captured by dealers and smuggled to the USA. While driving through Moose Lake, Minnesota, the truck that is transporting Blu accidentally drops Blu’s box on the road. A girl, Linda, finds the bird and raises him with love. Fifteen years later, Blu is a domesticated and intelligent bird that does not fly and lives a comfortable life with bookshop owner Linda. Out of the blue, clumsy Brazilian ornithologist, Tulio, visits Linda and explains that Blu is the last male of his species, and he has a female called Jewel in Rio de Janeiro. He invites Linda to bring Blu to Rio so that he and Jewel can save their species. Linda travels with Blu and Tulio to Rio de Janeiro and they leave Blu and Jewel in a large cage in the institute where Tulio works. While they are having dinner, smugglers break into the institute and steal Blu and Jewel to sell them. Linda and Tulio look everywhere for Blu, who is chained to Jewel and hidden in a slum. Meanwhile, Jewel …
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
User Reviews: What is it that drives audiences to a movie? Word of mouth? Arguably, yes. Box office intake? Rarely. Awards Buzz? Sometimes. But advertising is the main thing that drives audiences to a new movie. I must confess that Rio, today’s film I’m reviewing, suffers from the same problem as the earlier released Paul, advertising that makes it look like crap. And even though it wasn’t as good as Paul, Rio is a solid movie with heart and humor.
It centers on the last male of his kind, a spix’s macaw named Blu (Voiced by Jesse Eisenberg), currently in the ownership of a book shop keeper in Minnesota, who’s brought by a Brazilian scientist to Rio De Jeneiro on the eve of Carnivale to mate with the fierce Jewel (Voiced by Anne Hathaway), the last female of the species. But they are kidnapped by smugglers who seek to sell them for countless amounts of money, but they escape into the jungle to make it back to their homes, and avoid the clutches of the smugglers’ malicious cockatoo, Nigel (Voiced by cast standout, Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement).
As far as plot goes, the movie’s not that special. The film has a certain romantic adventure quality to it, blended with the signature humorous touches of Blue Sky Studios, the film’s producers. Is it predictable? Yes, and it’s a bit kiddy at times, but Rio makes up for that with it’s emotional touch, impressive voiceovers, and wit. The film, with it’s clever one-liners and droll sight and sound gags, quite often got a good chuckle from myself.
I must also give praise to the crew who designed the film with the utmost technical quality possible. The movie looked and sounded great. The Blue Sky animators delivered a gorgeous multicolored palette, while Randy Thom did well with the film’s sound effects and mix. But what ultimately sticks with me the most about Rio is the songs and score.
The music makes great use of percussive beats, guitars and maracas that are are incredibly catchy, something that’s apparent right when the movie begins. The film’s composer is John Powell, fresh off an Oscar nomination for what I consider to be 2010’s best movie score, and one of my new top ten favorite scores, How to Train Your Dragon, and Rio is yet another outstanding job, so don’t be surprised if he makes my year end top five score lineup yet again.
I may have some minor problems with it, but Rio’s admirable story telling and movie making methods are enough reason for me to recommend it.
I give it *** out of ****