Review: Rango




From the creative mind of Gore Verbinski, the man behind The Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, comes the latest in computer-animation, Rango. In the title role, Johnny Depp lends his distinct voice to the character Rango, a domesticated chameleon trapped in a tiny terrarium who spends his days acting out short skits to keep himself entertained with whatever props are in his possession, ranging from a wind-up fish toy to the torso of a neglected Barbie doll. One day, as chance would have it, Rango finds himself free from the confines of his glass cage, only to be lost among the barren sands of the Mojave Desert. His aimless travels eventually take him to the footsteps of a small town called Dirt, where amongst its townsfolk of desert creatures, Rango is able to put his acting talents into practice -only this time he has an audience. In front of a crowded saloon, he claims to be a violent drifter from the west; a cowboy who once took out an opposing gang with one single bullet. However, when Dirt’s water supply is suddenly stolen overnight, the disheartened townsfolk turn to their new visitor to make things right. The only problem is that Rango isn’t the savior the town believes him to be and the thieves behind the incident are much bigger and more dangerous than a simple gang of outlaws.

It used to be that the theatrical release of an animated film was an event; in the sense that it only happened once or twice in a calendar year, so when a released occurred it was something we were looking forward to. Now, it seems an animated (or computer animated) film is released every other weekend, and they really have lost some of their appeal, or at least they have to me. This is not necessarily a criticism of the industry, but a mere observation of contemporary animated cinema. That being said, whether you were anticipating it or not, Rango is a hilarious and refreshing animated feature. Refreshing both in the fact that it was shot in beautiful 2D, and also that it’s one of those rare animated films that is geared more towards adults than it is towards children. While the visual effects are pleasing to gaze upon, the characters in the film certainly are not and are in fact aesthetically repulsive. Even the hero of the film, the odd, beady-eyed lizard named Rango, children may find it hard to get behind and root for. But, with Rango‘s witty dialogue and it’s cinematic references to Chinatown, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Lord of the Rings, and just about every spaghetti western under the sun, it is clearly a film made by fans of the western genre for fans of the western genre, and it is most definitely an early contender for best animated film of the year.

[notification type=”star”]70/100 - It is clearly a film made by fans of the western genre for fans of the western genre, and it is most definitely an early contender for best animated film of the year.[/notification]


About Author

I've always loved movies, but it wasn't until under the tutelage of Professor Garry Leonard at the University of Toronto that my passion for the industry became an understanding of an art form. With a specific fascination in both the western genre and Asian cinema in general, I am of the view that good movies are either enlightening or entertaining, and if you are truly lucky they are both.

  • Bryan Murray

    A great film for the kids and young at heart