Movie review: Rio

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

My first complaint about "Rio"? How can they not have the Duran Duran song in the movie? I mean, come on!

Granted, the target audience won't care, but that's the first of plenty missteps.

Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) is a rare macaw who was taken from his rainforest home as a youngster by an exotic pet exporter.

Fortunately, Blu finds himself with a loving owner in Linda (Leslie Mann), and he becomes content in his domesticated life in the decidedly non-tropical setting of Minnesota.

But when it's discovered that Blu is the last male of his breed - and that there's also a remaining female (voiced by Anne Hathaway) - he must leave for the colorful world of Brazil.

I know Pixar has created unfairly lofty expectations for computer-animated movies, but "Rio" is squarely middle-of-the-pack.

Sure, there's a talented voice cast. I find Eisenberg almost impossible to dislike, and the fretful Blu is a nice fit for him.

But "Rio" just never really takes flight. The story feels like a patchwork of Pixar sub-plots. The jokes are flat, and there's just no momentum.

Even the colorful locales feel a little ho-hum, and the 3D presentation isn't spectacular enough for the added ticket price.

Plus no Simon Le Bon? Fly away, birdie.


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2 stars out of 4