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Wednesday, April 27, 2011  

M. Ovie Reviews: Rio

Going to kids' movies with M. Edium, I've become accustomed to animated features having bits aimed at entertaining me, too. Which has often made me wonder, what would a movie be like if it were aimed entirely at kids, with jokes too stale and flat and a story too predictable for an adult to appreciate? Well, after I took M. Edium to see Rio, I don't wonder any more.

Rio is a fish-out-of-water tale, about a blue macaw (Jesse Eisenberg) poached from the Brazilian rainforest while still a hatchling who is then raised here in Minnesota. Having reached adulthood in an environment where the biggest danger he faces is the creepily codependent relationship he shares with his adoptive owner, Blu is predictably unprepared to deal with the outside world. Then one day a Brazilian ornithologist shows up wanting to mate Blu with the only other blue macaw in existence, and he wants Blu and his owner Linda to travel to Rio to make it happen. Which they do, and then stuff ensues. Not hilarity, or anything all that interesting, just stuff.

Turns out Blu's putative mating partner Jewel is pretty much his exact opposite, yearning for flight and freedom and all that happy crappy, so of course they end up forced to be together in more ways than one. For most of the film their feet are chained together, The Defiant Ones-style. However, Anne Hathaway's voice is almost as dorky-sounding as Eisenberg's, so that undercuts the contrast a bit. I don't know when she recorded her role, but given that she plays a character shackled to a clay-footed loser who keeps dragging her down, at the very least it prepared her for co-hosting the

To be fair, the movie's amazing to look at, with breathtaking aerial shots of the dramatic scenery, server-crashing views of colorfully teeming wildlife, and even some great views of Rio's seamy underbelly (and even seamier, tin-roofed overbelly). But then, a movie set in Rio during Carnival would have to work pretty hard not to be. Even the voice cast is colorful, if you don't count the three lily-white leads. But none of them is really put to good use. I was fully expecting Jemaine Clement to save this movie when he finally showed up, but this is even more of a lost cause than Dinner for Schmucks.

But I guess what really matters is that M. Edium loved it. He's still bringing up bits that he remembers, bits that I, sorry to say, don't. Aside from a chuckle or two and the big emotional climax, it's all kind of a brightly-colored, dully-plotted, witlessly-written blur. And a couple of Happy Meal toys.

So if you're looking for a movie to bring your kids to where you don't feel guilty for enjoying it as much as they do, this is definitely the one.

posted by M. Giant 9:08 PM 2 comments


Hello...Have a fun day

By Blogger Leo, at April 29, 2011 at 8:44 PM  

Yeah, I was pretty bored during that one too. Though I'll bet it was pretty in 3D.

By Anonymous Kathleen, at April 30, 2011 at 11:13 PM  

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