* (out of four)
A woman (voiced by Leslie Mann) with no other friends searches around Brazil for her kidnapped blue parrot (Jesse Eisenberg) who can’t fly and is oh-so-creatively named Blu. He and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) are the last of their species and try to evade an evil bird (Jermaine Clement) long enough to be able to, you know, hubba hubba.
The buzz: Ads for “Rio” promote it as coming from the makers of “Ice Age,” as if that’s a good thing. Note: I saw the movie with about 60 second-graders, and they laughed a lot more during the excruciating short about “Ice Age” troublemaker Scrat than they did during “Rio.”
The verdict: Calling “Rio” creatively bankrupt is a massive understatement. Though perfectly fine in the animation department, the script, by the guy who also wrote “Carpool,” “Big Momma’s House” and “Surf’s Up,” is populated with nothing but stock characters and situations that seem to last for days. (“Rio” rivals “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole” in its power to make you hate birds.) Characters mention the importance of freedom without suggesting they even know what that means. And, of course, the movie features a number of gratuitous musical performances, opening and closing the movie as if it takes place in Disney World’s Tiki Room. I mean, great, Jamie Foxx as a bird!
Did you know? Linda (Mann) owns an independent bookstore called Blue Macaw Books in Moose Lake, Minn. So if you’re looking to open a similar store, maybe you should move to Moose Lake, apparently the one small town in America where that’s still possible.
Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Fridays at 7 a.m. on WCIU, the U