Movie review: Rio will ruffle your tail feathers

2011-04-08 09:55

Film: Rio (Nu Metro)
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Featuring the voices of: Jesse ­Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Leslie Mann, Will.i.Am, Jamie Foxx and George Lopez
Rating: 7/10

Ever seen a forest full of exotic parrots doing the Samba? Thought not. Well, here’s your chance. Ice Age director Carlos Saldanha goes from ice cold to red hot in this animated adventure about a rare blue macaw’s adventures in Brazil’s carnival city.

Fans of the wonderful Ice Age movies will recognise the distinctive animation style of the same team as they bring to life an ­aviary of colourful characters.

Blu, the protagonist voiced by Jesse Eisenberg, is a rare blue macaw who grows up in a frigid town with his owner Linda (Leslie Mann). When Linda is told that Blu is the last of his kind, apart from Jewel (Anne Hathaway), a female of his species, the two travel to Rio so that the birds can meet.

What follows is a rip-snorting adventure as Blu and Jewel are kidnapped, sold, escape, join the carnival and fall in love.

The script comes from the pen of Don Rhymer who, frankly, has written some of the worst films I have ever seen: Deck The Halls, Big Momma’s House (all three) and The Santa Clause 2.

It’s a relief to be able to say that he has managed here to write a flock of funny and ­endearing characters.

As with all these types of animated films, the supporting cast provides much of the humour.

Among my favourites are songbirds Nico and Pedro (voiced by Jamie Foxx and Will.i.Am); Nigel (Jermaine Clement), the bad bird; and Luiz (Tracy Morgan), the ­slobbering bulldog.

However, I am not entirely ­convinced that it was necessary to have the film in 3D as it distracted from the film’s beautiful, ­colourful animation. It would have been just as entertaining if the characters hadn’t flown straight towards me.

The good news for parents is that the knee-high audience I saw it with loved it – I could tell from the quiet concentration between the squeals of laughter.

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