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Rango (2011)

March. 03,2011
| Adventure Animation Comedy Western

When Rango, a lost family pet, accidentally winds up in the gritty, gun-slinging town of Dirt, the less-than-courageous lizard suddenly finds he stands out. Welcomed as the last hope the town has been waiting for, new Sheriff Rango is forced to play his new role to the hilt.


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RANGO is one of those interminable all-star-voice-cast animations that Hollywood churn out for the kids. These films always have lame, action-focused plots that feel repetitive in the extreme, and are chock-full of in-jokes and references for their parents taking the kids along. This one is an extremely clichéd western adventure in which a mild-mannered chameleon becomes sheriff of a western town and has to clear up trouble. Johnny Depp slums it as the lead while the various voice actors play the parts of various stereotypes. The best thing about it is the use of classical themes on the soundtrack, but I didn't care for the cold CGI work and the action is interminable. The Man With No Name's cameo is the best thing about this.

Vard Antinyan

There was a good cinematography, but the plot was predictable and stretched. Some actions in the middle were unconnected to the story. Originality was good here and there but the overall story was not original. Overall not impressive, except the costumes and the landscape. The start was interesting, which made me interested, so I followed the plot. But at some point, when Rango become Sheriff, things started to be uninteresting. From that point to the point of meeting the snake and leaving the town was very general plot with no real interesting events. Then meeting the Man with No Name was interesting again. The face off with the snake in the end promised to be a good concluding act. But again, it was stretched into something else, and I lost the interest again. The message of the overall movie was not bad, but as I said, twice in the middle I got destructed with mediocre plot. I understand some people will love this, but I also warn that people who are looking for an original plot and an original message will not get much. Good luck with watching!


RangoGore Verbinski's Rango is a wonder amongst animated films. Naturally, the colourful, larger than life medium lends itself to the eyes, ears and hearts of children, which is the direction most of the, take. But Rango presents a mature, raunchy, surreal, absurd spectacle rife with a mischievous buzz, and peppered with laughs just bordering on the inappropriate for children, even though they'd go right over their heads anyway.this movie broke the record for how many times my jaw hit the floor seeing what they could do with the visuals. It's detailed, meticulous, gorgeously rendered and beautifully crafted. Johnny Depp gives wit, endearing naivety, and a sense of childlike wonder to his creation Rango, a little lizard in the big desert, violently thrown from a car wreck into the greatest adventure of his life, and the archetypal heroes journey. He wanders through the baking Mojave desert, into the town of Dirt, inhabited by sassy, lovable creatures modelled after all our favourite western characters. He blunders his way into becoming the sheriff, and leads the whole town on a quest to locate their most sought after resource: Aqua. Verbinski directs with a snappy, take no prisoners sense of humour, throwing joke after joke after one liner after tongue in cheek nod at us, until we feel so bombarded with fantastic imagery, brilliant voice acting and just plain fun, that we more than feel like we're getting our money's worth. Each animal is beautifully designed, from the evil Rattlesnake Jake (Bill Nighy having a ball with a mini gun tail and Amber orange eyes), to Beans (a fellow lizard and love interest for our scaly hero), to the sleazy mayor (Ned Beatty, that old turtle), to a rampaging band of bank robbing moles led by a blind Harry Dean Stanton. The film is so full of detail, beauty and ambitious artistry that it has taken me at least 3 views to feel like I've noticed every character, every one line, very brilliant little touch. It's that good. Among the whacky antics there's a theme of owning up to ones identity, becoming responsible for people you save, and finishing the work or task you set out to do, lest you leave your legacy unwritten, and leave your Greek chorus (represented hilariously here by a trio of Mariachi Owls) with no end to their song. That kind of weight and thought put into an animated film gives me hope for the medium as something more than just whacky enjoyable children's fare, and even so I feel like like if more of the, had these kinds of themes, in them, our young ones may not necessarily understand the, but subconsciously benefit more off them, than off just the pyrotechnics and visual magic alone. A truly well made, shoot em up, dusty old American western animated classic.


When we hear about a Gore Verbinski/Johnny Depp tandem, we all know what movie franchise comes to mind first. Pirates of the Caribbean is a huge defining point for both the director and the actor, since the former will hardly ever beat the overall success of it with any other movie, and for the latter his character of Captain Jack Sparrow was, is and probably will stay the most recognizable image he ever brought to life. It's hard to get away from your fame, and it's probably the case when it becomes your curse - just like the Black Pearl's crew was cursed for being too successful at plundering.At first glance, it's hard to imagine anything more opposite to Pirates of the Caribbean than Rango. And not only because it's an animation. Rango is a story of a pet chameleon who's deeply in the hell of a self-identification crisis, and Captain Jack Sparrow would be the last person in the world to question himself who he is. Yet there's a strong vibe of the whole PotC trilogy (to me it IS a trilogy) coming from Rango. The Curse of the Black Pearl was all adventures, Dead Man's Chest was all goofy and slapstick, and At World's End was a rather surreal journey to the other side. And Rango has it all.But in this attempt to transmit the already well-mastered recipe for success from one franchise to another Gore Verbinski chose the second installment of PotC as the base tone. Which is weird, because, apart from being a huge commercial hit, Dead Man's Chest was a rather flat and over-the-top action adventure which, as most second episodes of trilogies do, simply served as a link towards the climactic third act. And while Rango was showing some promise to become a parable of the social inequality, a satire about brainwashing, vice and exploitation, and finally a story of a person on his self-exploring journey, it's still mostly a situation comedy where a striving for local punchlines outweighs a global dramatic effect. Jump funny, say fancy words very fast and make weird noises - and you're good to go. Yee-haw!I guess it's actually enough for the audience that simply wants to be entertained. After all, Rango is beautifully animated, and it definitely delivers a feast for your senses. But for those who prefer to go deeper, Rango could be a much more fulfilling, albeit not so happy, tribute to Johnny Depp's own thespian journey. Rango is a chameleon, an ever-mimicking creature, who has to play a character he invented himself - because he has no idea who he actually is as a person. Just like Johnny Depp himself, who had enacted so many personas during his actor's career that to most people he's just Jack Sparrow or even "that guy from that movie". It may be a hymn to the whole tribe of actors, but Johnny Depp is probably the most prominent example of a person who's been in so many pairs of shoes throughout his whole life that it's getting difficult to remember which one is actually yours.The ending, when our hero rides into sunset to solidify himself as an icon to be remembered, is a sort of a silent resignation to this fate. After all, what's the point in trying to define and defend your personal individuality if everyone else will still have his own image of you that's only vaguely related to the reality. Apparently, this choice goes beyond a single film, because in the next work of the aforementioned tandem, The Lone Ranger, Johnny Depp's character is all but a legend alive, with hardly anything truly human in it. Depp may be a most perfect hanger for film personas, but they do start to feel somewhat empty inside. Just like this film itself. But if you're not looking for more than what meets the eye, you'll be thoroughly entertained, because, even though the make-up may be flaking, the smile still stays on. Show must go on, and it will go on. Amen.