There are so many movies out there these days that are trying to jump on the cash cow that is kids’ films. Only a hand full of people have actually managed to create original and unique films that adults want to see as much as the kids – Pixar is a great example of how to do it right. Then there are the people who create some stinkers and whilst Rio is definitely not a stinker, it’s just…eh material, good, but not great.
Rio tells the story of a domesticated Macaw bird named Blu who lives in a small town in Minnesota with his caring and loving owner. The last of his kind, Blu is taken to Rio de Janeiro to mate with Jewel, but a combination of crazy animal mayhem mixed with some downright sinister bird snatchers ensure this “easy” trip goes horribly wrong.
Boasting a stellar line up of the Hollywood who’s who to voice various characters such as Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx, Jane Lynch and even the Black Eyed Peas Will.i.Am this story is cute, but there’s nothing really special about it. One thing this film did get right though is to cast Flight of the Conchords’, Jermaine Clement, as villainous bird Nigel. Jermaine’s deliciously baritone voice not only lends itself perfectly to the finest character in Rio, but also manages to steal most of the laughs. Plus, the creators of this animated feature managed to use Jermaine’s talented singing skills for a special little Conchord-esque number especially for the kids.
Although Rio is filmed in 3D, it’s not really up to the standards of a 3D flick, other than a whole lot of flying feathers this could be watched without the wacky glasses and it would be just the same. This is definitely a film just for the kids. There’s loads of colour, plenty of laughs, crazy animal characters, plenty of authentic Brazilian music and a Carnival parade that rivals the real life one in terms of fun and excitement – just don’t expect to have a Pixar type experience while your kids are in their element.
– Suzanna Parisi