***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
Rio - 3 out of 5
Ice Age made both a lot of money for Fox and a franchise but once the ice melted, they needed to go somewhere and Rio is one of the films it went with. The movie is about a rare macaw who is brought to Brazil in order to save his species but ends up becoming entangled in the criminal world of bird smuggling. This animated film hits all the marks you would think it would and ultimately the played out jokes and uninspired story ends up delivering a completely mediocre kid's film that Pixar wouldn't wipe their collective asses with.
The minute the film starts, it's clear that this movie was made just for a quick buck and, thanks to a tie-in with the wickedly popular video game Angry Birds, it was clearly made for marketing purposes and movie tie-ins. The story's downright cliche and the fact the film tries to hide this by loading it up with a lot of purdy colors screams that this movie was the brainchild of a plethora of suits out to make some sweet, sweet cash from video games, plushies and Happy Meal choke hazards. If the story isn't enough evidence, look at the cast.
First off, you have Jesse Eisenberg once again diving into his shallow pool to showcase the lack of depth he has as an actor. Going animated doesn't hide the fact he is still playing the social awkward nerd who, thinking he's witty and being ironic, is self-aware that he's social awkward. Me thinks Michael Cera was too busy to play the part so they got Eisenberg to play the bird Blu in RioLand. Next, it seems the filmmakers wanted to scrape the bottom of the barrel as they give roles (and way too many lines) to Will i Am and George Lopez. What's the deal? Was Carlos Mencia too busy? The only real talent and entertainment to come from the cast comes in the form of Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords playing the villain Nigel and Tracy Morgan providing a limited amount of laughs as the dog; Luiz. However, his introduction comes too late in the film to truly save it.
I know I sound like this is the worst animated movie to ever be created but that's just not true. The film does offer a very minimal amount of entertainment (unless you're really young, then the bright colors will entertain you more) and the very subtle commentary the film makes on bird smuggling is great but the reality is, the film just doesn't offer up enough to warrant anything more than a single viewing. The jokes are nothing but cliche cuts that have already been beating to death more than Dane Cook's entire routine and the story and characters can barely stay afloat in this puddle of a film. The movie will try and distract you from these very obvious defects by giving you some music and, despite a great tune by Clement, you have to realize that the majority of the other songs contain a Black Eyed Pea.
Rio taught me many lessons but I will focus on two in order to close out this review. Number 1) if movies and TV have taught me anything, it seems people only find themselves going to Rio (whether by accident or on purpose) during Carnival. Apparently nothing else happens there that's worth mentioning or acknowledging. I guess the rampant prostitution, poverty and crime wouldn't have made an adequate film. Finally, Number 2) Pixar still remains the king of animated films. In fact, rumor is that Pixar canceled a project when this one came out because it too closely resembled a movie they were making. This idea makes the movie Rio even harder to watch because every single solitary second that passes on screen, there will be a little voice mumbling that Pixar could have succeed in making this a great film.