Movie Review: Rio

Endangered birds, last of their kind, are brought together to mate and save their race.  Though there’s some people out to get the birds for the money they’ll bring in.  Can the birds get away from the threat and learn to love each other?  That’s what the movie Rio is about.

The movie starts off showing Blu, a rare Blue Macaw as a baby when some poachers show up and kidnap all the birds in the area including him.  Though once in the United States, his box falls out of the truck on the way to its location and is found by a young girl.  Linda, is happy to find the bird and they become best friends growing up together. In this life Blue has it great, living it up and never needing to learn to fly.  Though a visitor comes from Rio, Dr. Barbosa, a man who really likes birds and knows that Blu is the last known male Blue Macaw alive.  He wants Linda and Blu to come with him to Rio to introduce Blu to a female Blue Macaw.

Linda decides to take Blu to Rio with Dr. Barbosa. Once they get there, Blu is introduced to Jewel, the female Blue Macaw. Jewel is a wild Blue Macaw and does not want to be caged up.  She’s trying to escape, though Blu does not understand why as all he’s known is good humans.  While she’s trying to convince him that they should escape, humans break in and kidnap the two of them.  Locking them up in a room with a lot of other birds.

The two behind the kidnapping was a young boy and a Cockatoo.  The Cockatoo got back to the hide out before the boy did.  Funny thing was, the thugs there didn’t even react like the Cockatoo was gone.  The boy shows up as there’s three thugs there.  He gets paid half of what he was promised then told to put the birds in the room with the other birds.  This boy felt guilty about what he did.   The Cockatoo took pride in his job of being evil, as soon as the humans were out of that room he came in and introduced himself to Blu and Jewel.  His name is Nigel, and he had a full song and dance to go with who he is, which includes why he’s gone evil.

Blu and Jewel escape with Blu’s know how of opening cages.  Though to Jewel’s surprise she learns that Blu can not fly.  As there’s a big chase scene of Nigel trying to get his hands on both of them.  They escape with only one problem, they have been chained together.  So the mission now becomes “getting free of the chain”.  Jewel leads Blu out to the jungle where Blu is scared, though Jewel is trying to tell him that is where they belong.  While there they meet a Toucan named Rafael that offers to help them meet someone who can remove the chain.

Meanwhile, Nigel hires some monkey’s to find Blu and Jewel.   And with some help, Linda is also on the trail of the Blu to try and save him.  Which gives us a few groups to keep an eye on.  Can Blu and Jewel get the chains off their feet before being found and sold?  Will the monkeys even play an important role in the movie?  Do the humans in this movie really matter?

As much story line as they put into this movie it felt like a bad rip off of Bolt.   A different story line, but still has a lot of the same themes.  The lead character, animal is a pet of someone they care deeply about.  They don’t live a normal life of what they are.  They get away, learn about the life they could be living.  While Bolt did this story great, giving depth to all of the characters pulled in,  Mittens the homeless cat, Rhino the fanboy Hamster and Bolt the dog who thought he had super powers, they also gave depth to the humans, as Penny wanted to find her lost Dog and was put into an area to make a tough choice.    In “Rio”, Linda didn’t have to make any tough choices she was just running the full time to get Blu back.  And got so little respect that the official movie pages do not even list the human characters in the “Characters” section.

The growth of Blu’s friends were little to none.  We learn the roles each of them play.  There’s Rafael the party family guy, there’s the two little birds that love romance and singing.  There’s the Bull Dog who’s also into the party.  Basically it’s all about the event going on around the characters, and while we see growth in Blu and Jewel in how they feel through the movie and what they go through.  It just didn’t have a deep enough feeling.

This movie, just like Rango, had a lot of great art work to it, really well designed for the big screen.  The 3D was ok, though not needed to enjoy the film.  The worst thing with the movie goes to the writer as the voice actors did well and had fun with their roles.  The supporting characters didn’t even have to be there.  They were just the comedy relief.   There were some good laughs in the movie, but not enough to get me to feel I had to return to the theater to see it again.  Truthfully I was lucky enough to get a free pass to this movie as I would not want to pay to see it.  If the movie is on TV, I will stop and watch it. So, the movie was not awful, it just could of been done better.

Voices of the movie was done really well, with my favorite going to Jesse Eisenberg for the role of Blu.  He did great with displaying the emotions of the character through voice and really pulled off the character well.  Anne Hathaway did a great job as the voice of Jewel.  Her character was a strong female type who just wanted to live free, though knew how to have a fun time.  Though I really feel that Leslie Mann’s character is not getting enough credit in this film. She did a very good job as showing a concerned pet owner who feels that Blu was part of her family and would do everything she can to get him back.  This role could of been pulled a bit more in with the movie and not so badly over looked in the media posting.  As mentioned already, I am disappointed by the lack of the human characters upon the official website for “Rio”.

My biggest pet peeve with the movie goes to plot holes.  Nigel being at the place with the thugs before the boy shows up, when Nigel was the one who attacked the guard where Blu and Jewel was.  No reactions to him even being gone, just the guys being scared of him.  And an area where the monkeys go against the birds, the good guys react upset as if they already know the monkeys are working for Nigel, even though they never saw the monkeys before.  And a little bird knowing where Blu and Jewel went, without a real reason to know.  Overall these little parts were just over looked to keep the story moving.  But things like this are annoying to me.  If it was only one, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.  The fact that there was so many and they were so easy to spot, just kind of ruins it for me.

If I was to recommend a movie to anyone, I say go back to my review of “Hop” it’s a great family movie that leaves you feeling good and energies.  Rio sadly enough left an empty space in me of disappointment, as if I was hoping for something more.

Entertainment Earth



I have to agree with you to extent, as I watched the movie I kept thinking "this reminds me of Bolt". From the plot, to the origin scene with the 15 year jump, to the John Powell's strikingly similar score. I couldn't stop think about the similarities .

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