Reviews: Rango

Wonderfully unconventional, but intensely ugly

Rango is easily one of the most unconventional animated films in history, featuring highly realistic animation, very strange characters with western accents, a mean-spirited atmosphere and a lot of adult elements. And while I did enjoy seeing what this movie had to offer, I also found it quite uncomfortable to sit through at the same time.

Rango's biggest strength is its animation. It's some of the best I've seen; everything looks magnificently detailed. The filmmakers captured a dirty western universe perfectly, as it has all the trimmings you'd expect and more. When watching the film, I really felt I was transported into its world. I almost felt the sweltering heat emanating from the screen. The lighting is also magnificent, with excellent visual contrasts between murky darkness and blinding brightness.

Another big strength of the movie is Rango himself. He's immediately likable because we can relate to him. He's an imaginative lizard who just wants some adventure and acceptance in his dull, friendless world, and watching him explore the film's world is satisfying and a lot of fun. Unfortunately, though, the film's unique style, while very intriguing, comes with one serious flaw - the other characters are extremely ugly. While Rango himself is easy to look at, the supporting cast is so hideous that it actually made me feel somewhat sick to look at them. It was often hard for me to even care about them as well. Their bizarre designs (with many moustaches) and thick Southern accents give them overly dark and sometimes nasty dispositions that distract too much.

Plot-wise, it's a mixed bag. It's interesting to see where Rango's journey takes him, but I also wanted it to end after a while. It's one of those movies that has so much story to tell that it drags on and on. The film's (excuse the pun) polar opposite, Happy Feet, suffered from the same problem. Also, the film's unashamedly non-family-friendly tone makes it less charming than it should be. Many references to death, smoking and drinking give it an atmosphere that comes off as pretentious. It's a different movie - perhaps too different.

Two viewings of Rango is certainly enough for me at the moment. I might not want to watch it again for quite a while, but I'm glad I at least got to experience the film's clever, though very dodgy, innovations.
  • Sijo
  • 23rd Jul 11
  • 2

Good, but confusing

"Rango" is definitely the kind of movie where the MST 3 K Mantra applies: don't think, just go with it. Because the moment you stop to think, you realize nothing makes sense (and not just for being a Funny Animal story).

For example: some animals were "people" talking and using clothes, etc; while other animals (the roadrunners) were not; and some just are not defined (the Hawk). The plot itself wasn't terribly clear: why were the citizens of Dirt so out of touch with the rest of the world? Who was the Big Bad going to sell the land to after everyone was gone? Where did things like their (diminute) guns come from?

Then there's also the surrealism of the movie: there's at least two "dream sequences" that 'did not really happen' (three if you count Rango's talk with the Spirit Of The West). Oh and The Mariachi Owls, while fun, were too 'meta'- sometimes part of the story, sometimes not. There's so much surrealism in the film, in fact, that when the cacti started moving, I thought it was just another hallucination. (That part was never explained, btw.)

Yes, I know; Rule Of Funny. Thing is, the story gets SO serious at some points, it's easy to forget it's a comedy then. Or Is It?

Frankly, while I think the CGI effects were incredible, I think the movie would have worked better if it had used more traditional animation; in fact the sequence with the Hawk in the desert was almost like something out of a Looney Tunes cartoon. Its easier not to question things when they look less realistic. The characters would have looked cuter, too.

Despite my comments above, Rango is still a great movie; it's original, it's funny, it's full of action and it's almost unpredictable (oh you can tell what's going to happen next, just not exactly *how*.)

So overall, Rango is a great movie experience, thought it could have been written a little better.

Just be patient

The one negative about Rango it that it start off sloooooooow it take a while fro things to get started and it seems like forever for things to happen but once they do it will be worth the wait. Rango is just plain fun for anyone who knows westerns, it's quite good with it's music and it look absolutely amazing, previously getting bored with this movie is well impressive. I'd some what compare this with The Great Mouse Detective not in terms of story but for who the intended audience is, it has some things that might be a little riskay for vary young kids but still not something older kid couldn't watch and for adults to enjoy. Does Rango have problems yes is it entertaining vary much so, I'll give it 7 out of 10, 3 and half star, thumbs up.

Disapointing, but still creative.

Iíd like to begin this review by saying that there were parts of the film that I liked. The voice acting was decent, but Johnny Depp and Ned Beatty did their roles excellently. The visual output was good, and the locales occasionally looked realistic at times. I especially liked that the critters werenít cute anthropomorphized creatures, but ugly and gritty looking. To me, this reflected that the film was darker than your average kidís fare. The music was good. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the movie avoided what I like to call ďThe Dreamworks MethodĒ of a genre parody, in which the film obnoxiously throws in as many pop-cultural references as possible. The last third of the movie (which was considerably more serious than the rest of the film) was probably the best part. If the whole film had taken itself more seriously, then it would have been good.

Unfortunately, this brings us to the problem: Rango is an original film that sadly does not live up to its potential. The conflict of the movie is pretty lenient for what should be a serious subject. Without giving too much of the film away, Iíll summarize: The people in Dirt (yes, thatís what the town is called) are dying of dehydration. Throughout the movie, we do not see them drink a single drop of water. Halfway through the film, it turns out that what remains of the water supply has been stolen. The plot takes place over what I assume to be a week, and literally nobody has died from the lack of water. That kind of kills the tension they were setting up. The jokes that are in the movie arenít really that good. I usually laugh easily, but there werenít any memorable punch lines. Then thereís the gratuitous amount of toilet humor in the movie, which seems to only be in there to get cheap giggles out of small children. It isnít even funny toilet humor; itís just crass.

Oh, and this is a low note to end on, but the song at the end totally knocked off of ďMiserlouĒ from Pulp Fiction.

Bottom Line: Rango is a good idea hindered by its own script. Go see Blazing Saddles instead.

All Around Delightful!

Just saw Rango this evening. Even my mother, who is determined to dislike everything animated, admitted she liked this movie.

Rango is a PG animated film directed Gore Verbinski starring the ever-delightful Johnny Depp. At first glance, it may look like just another silly talking animal movie, but itís so much more than that. True to its Western roots, Rango does not skimp on the gunfights. When one of the villains is a rattlesnake with a Gatling gun tail, you know youíre in for some exciting fight scenes. Johnny Depp delivers as the somewhat dorky, somewhat selfish, but ultimately heroic titular chameleon. The animation is gorgeous all the way around. Itís astounding how much detail the animators put into the environments. Itís all exquisite. Thereís very little to criticize about this movie. Itís a real joy to watch. The jokes are funny, the dialogue is well written, and the acting is great.

Hereís my only criticism: I thought the plot could have used some trimming in places. Toward the middle of the movie, there were so many Chekhovís Guns hanging around that I didnít know how they could resolve them all. While the movie did wrap up all the plot threads in a satisfying fashion, I still feel things could have been trimmed down. It starts to feel a bit cluttered there in the middle. I think one of the characters actually jokes about it, asking ďare we still chasing bank robbers?Ē

Anyway, I still loved the movie. I definitely recommend it. The acting is great, the animation is great, the fight scenes are exciting, and the jokes are funny. Definitely worth seeing.

Excellent Movie

This is one of those movies you like when you see it and then gradually come to love the more thought you put into it.

Rango is a chameleon who is thrown out the back of his owner's car and finding himself in an envirnment that he could've never imagined. However, after spending his time trying to make a performence with himself as a hero, he finds himself in the town of Dirt, which is in desprate need of a hero itself. Using his acting talent and knowledge of westerns, Rango fashions himself as a hero and suprisingly becomes just what Dirt needs in its time of need.

The plot is great, all the characters are likable. Rango may be lying, but as the movie goes on he realizes that he has to take the responbility of the role he's taken on to save it. Beans is tough and a great lead heroine. The other characters are all unique and great to watch. Rattlesnake Jake, the film's resident Knight Of Cerebus, is terrifying and quickly takes the film into a new, more sinister light the moment he slithers onto the scene. The main villain of the film is also done quite well. There's enough foreshadowing to realize he's the antagonist when its revealed and it works well.

However, the thing I love about this film is the way Law Of Conservation Of Detail is used at the finale. Rango emerges from his Heroic BSOD and utilizes an entire Chekhovs Armoury intentionally to pull off an epic climax.

I personally adore this film and highly recommend it!