Rio ... Grande!
Review by Richard Buxton
Despite making a large dent in the box-office and receiving a generally warm critical response, 2011’s RIO was a largely forgettable and formulaic production that did little to stand out from the many anthropomorphic animal adventures that queue up for release each year. Its failings were hardly unique and were not quite enough to derail the film to the point of it being unenjoyable, but there was still a sense that RIO was just another run-of-the-mill animated stop-gap before the year’s bigger releases, and it was a feeling that coursed through the entire film. Despite emphasis on the film’s exotic Brazilian setting, RIO could have taken place just about anywhere and had similar results. There was a lack of conviction behind the film’s Latin American setting, and at times this extended even as far as JOHN POWELL’S score. That’s not to say that POWELL’S score was not at times excellent, but on the whole it failed to fully ignite in the way many have come to expect his works to. If his score for RIO 2 is anything to go by, the film’s geographical focus has increased significantly.