By Jack Rico
‘Rango’ has got to be one of the most original, innovative and sophisticated animated comedies I have ever seen. With that said, it does possess some moments in the middle that drag. Though on the surface it might look like a film for kids, don’t kid yourself, it is mainly for adults. The dialogue is way too advanced for children to follow as well as the profound existential themes it kicks around from the very beginning. This spells ‘boring’ for kids who have expectations to laugh and have fun.
Gore Verbinski (The Pirates of the Caribbean series) directs and Johnny Depp lends his voice to this animated ‘Chinatown’ meets the Old West. The story follows Rango (Depp), a sheltered chameleon living as an ordinary family pet, while facing a major identity crisis. After all, how high can you aim when your whole purpose in life is to blend in? When Rango accidentally winds up in the gritty, gun-slinging town of Dirt — a lawless outpost populated by the desert’s most wily and whimsical creatures — 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… until, in a blaze of action-packed situations and encounters with outrageous characters, Rango starts to become the hero he once only pretended to be.
The opening sequence is as memorable as anything you’re going to see this year. The pristine visual animation and Depp’s thespian abilities bring to life a mesmerizing set of sequences that establish the artistic and high concept tone for the rest of the movie.
Pixar has they’re job cut out for them. With animated films like ‘Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole,’ ‘The Illusionist,’ ‘How To Train Your Dragon,’ and now ‘Rango,’ we are starting to see that Pixar is no longer the only source of quality movies for families, children and adults. Rango is a work of art in many ways, not just a visual masterpiece. It’s script has a great message, the voice acting is captivating and the characters are interesting and amusing, such as the Mexican mariachi birds voiced by Latino George Del Hoyo, amongst others and Roadkill by Alfred Molina. There was defintely a Latino flavor in the film that was palpable, in particular, at the beginning.
Regarding the voice acting, the cast is one of the many stupendous aspects of ‘Rango’. It’s something to indulge in and enjoy. The cast consists of Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Ray Winstone, Ned Beatty, and Bill Nighy.
If you are a parent and are wondering if ‘Rango’ has fun elements for your child, the answer is yes. There’s enough gags, action and fast paced scenes to entertain a child, just not enough to captivate them for the whole duration of the movie. Adults… looks like this one’s for you more than it is for them.
Rated: PG for rude humor, language, action and smoking.
Release Date: 2011-03-04
Screenplay: John Logan
Official Website: http://www.rangomovie.com/