RIO (Rated G)   Three Stars05-18-11-movie-review.jpg

Instead of Rio (96 min-utes) I wanted to see the movie about the teenage chick assassin. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a babysitter so I got outvoted. Words can-not express the extent of my enthusiasm for a movie about birds ... creatures that poop out long luxurious ropes of gooey poo five seconds after they finish eating the huge chunk of your finger that they just finished fanging into.

We open with a song. Yippee. The feathers are pret-ty as the birds swoop and sing and samba … too bad those pretty feathers are positively crawling with parasites. The littlest, tweetest, itty-bitty, big-eyed birdy wakes amidst the chorus and starts to shake his little birdy butt. He watches terrified as a vicious yellow mama bird shoves her screaming babies over the edge of the nest. Because birds are jerks that try to kill their young. Luckily for the baby birds, they escape the deadly murderous love of their caregiver and fly away to freedom.

Our hero, not yet named, decides flying is worth a try. Sadly, his freakishly large head, a sure sign of a doomed and useless species, causes him to plummet to the earth, where he is squashed and devoured by creatures more fit to sur-vive. Loud applause echoes through the theater … it is a happy ending, because the stupid bird is dead!

Oh. Wait. Nevermind. The bird isn’t dead. He’s just kidnapped. Birdnapped? Anyway, he is flown to Minnesota, which closely resembles the icy plains of R’lyeh. There, his crate is bumped off the truck and he is picked up by Linda (Leslie Mann). Their relationship is bizarrely snuggly, and it is likely that Linda contracts any number of bird diseases communicable to humans.

Linda doesn’t seem to have many friends, probably because she walks around covered in bird poop and smelling like musty wet feathers (birds pee on themselves all the time). At least she has Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) … oh, right. If she managed to shake the overly needy avian, she would probably get out more.

Just when it seemed like Linda was doomed to die alone, in walked Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro). Instead of making the world a better place by allowing an evolutionary dead-end to slip gracefully from the world he wants to introduce Blu to Jewel (Anne Hathaway) so they can make more macaws. They all end up in Brazil, under the watchful eye of the huge dashboard ornament that graces Rio de Janeiro’s skyline. They meet two birdy buddies who in no way reinforce existing stereotypes (Will i Am and Jaime Foxx).

After some bird footsie, Tulio takes Linda to dinner and Blu and Jewel get kidnapped. They are inexplicably chained together and forced to listen to the songs of Nigel (Jemaine Clement) the only halfway interesting bird char-acter. The macaws manage to escape, which is when Jewel discovers that Blu can’t fly. They wind up in the forest, surrounded by feather pulling toucans, including Rafael (George Lopez). He offers to take them downtown to meet his friend Luiz (Tracy Morgan). Car-sickness inducing 3D hijinks ensue while Linda and Tulio search the streets, get terrible sunburns and are miraculously healed of terrible sunburns in time for happy ending. Too bad no actual birds were harmed in the making of this film.

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