May 27, 2011

Rio - 2011



Director: Chris Saldanha
Writers: Don Rhymer, Joshua Sternin, Jeffrey Ventimilia, & Sam Harper
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Mann, George Lopez, Will.i.am, Jamie Foxx

"Flying is... err... freedom, and, and not having to rely on anyone. Don't you want that?" After being captured, trafficked to Minnesota, and brought back to Brazil to ensure the survival of his species, the creatively-named Blu (Eisenberg) is again captured, along with his begrudging companion Jewel (Hathaway). He must overcome his inability to fly, evade former film star cockatoo Nigel (Clement), and woo Jewel in his own particular idiom before returning to the familiarity of his home again.

This film, while not without its merits, made several missteps. To start off, I need to address the elephant in the room: casting. The film takes place in Brazil, and some of the Brazilian characters are voiced by Hathaway, Clement, Will.i.am, Foxx...you get the idea. Severely underrepresented when it comes to actual Hispanic actors, and the ones actually cast make no effort to affect an accent. Not only do many characters not sound right, but the humans don't look right in cases either. Blu's owner might as well be the adult version of Darla from Finding Nemo (except she cares for her pets now), and two male characters (one of the smuggler's henchmen and a security guard at the bird sanctuary) are identical. Hey, Blue Sky? Maybe there's a reason you haven't worked with humans on the screen since the first Ice Age film. THAT'S ANOTHER THING: there was, for whatever reason, a short film starring everyone's favorite ancillary character from the Ice Age franchise that played before Rio, and it spat in the face of every principle of geology imaginable, from the heat of the Earth's core to plate tectonics. And we wonder why people grow up without knowing basic facts... A final note: there's a difference between a movie that appeals to audiences of all ages and a children's film with mature content to entertain the adults forced to take their kids to it. Rio is clearly the latter. C+

1 comment:

  1. AKA you were an adult forced to see it with me.

    ReplyDelete