Genre: Action & Adventure, Animation, Kids & Family, Comedy
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg Anne Hathaway Jamie Foxx Jemaine Clement Leslie Mann
Brazilian director Carlos Saldanha and Blue Sky Studios combine again after the hit series Ice Age in this latest animated adventure film, which focuses on the adventures of domesticated Macaw named Blu, who gets the taste of the wild and learns to fly like a free bird.
Much comfortable living in wintry Minnesota in his cage with his best friend and bookstore owner Linda (Leslie Mann), Blu’s life gets quite complicated when he is moved to the exotic land of Rio to mate with his female counterpart, Jewel (Anne Hathaway). Being a bird who does not know how to fly, Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) seeks the help of a group of wise-cracking and smooth-talking city birds along with the street-smart and beautiful Jewel, to cross all odds and discover the meaning of freedom and flying. The adventure starts when Blu and Jewel are kidnapped by a group of animal smugglers and a scary and evil cockatoo, Nigel (Jemaine Clement) follows them to assist the smugglers. There begins a chase that never seems to end as the people in Rio prepare for the biggest carnival. Nerdy macaw, Blue will have to conquer his fears and learn to fly if he has to attract the free-spirited Jewel and survive in Rio.
As much as this kid flick is a visual delight, it falls short in narration and screenplay. Rio becomes a splash of colours, lacking in a genuine storyline and boring characters with some awkward jokes and an endless chase which drags the second half of the movie at a snail’s pace. It comes out as more of a spectacular travelogue in 3D than an entertaining, full of fun, action-packed, wholesome animation for adults and children alike. While the visual palette is charming and lush to the core and leaves spellbound, there is less effort thrown in the actual story.
There is a hang-gliding sequence where Blu and Jewel piggy-back on a glider as it soars past the Christ, the Redeemer statue and over the city, which is stunning in its diversity of visuals thrown in to make you realize that animation technology and 3D effects can make an uninteresting movie look spectacular. The music of the film has some good tracks but nothing too memorable.
The only part I enjoyed truly was when the monkeys come on the screen with their rap and dance and some “monkey business”. What I really disliked was the scene when Blue and Jewel glider is coming down and bumps everyone on the beach including the bum of a lady in a bikini. The bum-lady (her face is not shown) gets kicked by the ball on her bum and the whole scene looks extremely inappropriate for a kids movie as well as sloppy, because the scene was not required and turned out to be disgusting for many (I could gauge it from the way parents started making remarks in the cinema while watching it).
The first half of the movie is fast paced and keeps you engaged, but once the chase begins, it gets monotonous and stops making any sense. There is not much good quality romance or comedy like you see in Disney movies, but the heavy dose of dull adventure which will work for kids aged between 3-10 years. It cannot be enjoyed equally by adults and the concept of family flick goes down the drain. If you have nothing better to do on a weekend and want to have some popcorns and drink while sitting comfy in the cinema, go for it. Otherwise, wait for “Gnomeo and Juliet” DVD release and till then, take your kids for some bowling fun!