Review: Rango

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Believe in that there sign. For as long as it hangs there we’ve got hope.

Well that was unexpected.

Animation is tagged with a “just for kids” label and more often that not it’s a justified one. Pixar has bridged the gap in entertainment that can be consumed by both adults and children and Rango is another example of that.

Rango – a chameleon voiced by Johnny Depp – aspires to be a swashbuckling hero who, when he falls out of a car on the highway, finds himself in a town called Dirt that’s plagued by bandits and running out of a precious resource – water. Rango is forced to become the Sheriff to protect the city and find out what happened to the water that’s disappeared.

Rango is a lonely, delusional chameleon whose can count among his friends a Barbie doll without a head and a plastic fish, with which he acts out various fantasies where he is the star of the story.

With nods to Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns, Leaving Las Vegas and Chinatown, it’s not atypical of the animated genre and doesn’t resort to lazy jokes or references popular culture. The film has fun with the Western genre, the story essentially about the need for a hero and the idea of a community banding together. Despite not being the cleverest chameleon around, Rango keeps it together until he’s exposed as a fraud.

It is a wonderfully  created world thanks to ILM, a world full of interesting and unique looking characters. The action sequences are excellent, visceral with some inspired comedic touches.

The voice acting is uniformly fantastic and kudos should go to Bill Nighy who gives his Rattlesnake Jake.

An inventive and immensely entertaining film, Rango upends the expectations what an animated film for children should be.

8/10

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Posted on 03/03/2011, in Best of, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Inventive visuals and lively voice cast lift this finely animated film above the fray. So it’s a shame that the story feels both random and predictable. Good review, check out mine when you can please!

    • Random and predictable? I wouldn’t quite agree with that assessment but it plays out as a bit of a deconstruction of the Western film. Even though it was aimed (and certainly marketed) towards children, its one of the few animated films i’ve seen recently that suffices as good entertainment for adults as well.

      Loved it!

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