Rango, a chameleon whos living as an ordinary family pet, and facing a major identity crisis, winds up in the town of Dirt a lawless outpost populated by the deserts most wily and whimsical creatures. Welcomed as the last hope the town has been waiting for, new Sheriff Rango is forced to play his new role to the hilt... unti...more
Rango, a chameleon whos living as an ordinary family pet, and facing a major identity crisis, winds up in the town of Dirt a lawless outpost populated by the deserts most wily and whimsical creatures. 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. less
“Johnny Depp is back with a bang. With a brilliantly written script and a spectacular voiceover, Rango's truly unrivaled.”
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The one thing I believe most animated feature films do is "cuteness overkill". No matter if there have to be animals or humans as their protagonists they look incredibly cute; not a bad thing necessarily but with the field of animation there is plenty of scope to play around with the look and feel you want to create according to your story and settings. While there are a (very select) few that have veered from this trend, most seem to revel in it. So it's quite a relief to see something like 'Rango' which takes a well-defined cinematic genre, the Western, and puts it's setting to wonderful use with everything that the genre has to offer. Plus its not in 3D!!!
Not too far off from a loose animated re-imagining of 'Blazing Saddles', the movie even combines elements of the 'Man with no name trilogy' and 'Chinatown'. Rango (voice of Johnny Depp) is a lizard living in a home aquarium until an accident leaves him stranded in the middle of the desert. Seeking water he finds the sleepy town of Dirt which is like any frontier town seen in most westerns except this is a watering hole for various types of animals instead of humans. The town is presided over by the Mayor (voice of Ned Beatty) & terrorized by a snake, Rattlesnake Jake (voice of Bill Nighy). Thanks to a combination of luck and pure buffoonery on the part of Rango, he's soon seen the town's new hero and saviour, and eventually even rises to become the sheriff. Fighting off a troublesome hawk seems to cement his place but Rango soon discovers the reason for the town's problem stems from the fact that there is an acute shortage of water, which is killing off the town and it's folk slowly. His investigations into the matter reveal a conspiracy and it's upto Rango to fight off the bad guys.
First off the animation is an absolute beauty inspite of the harsh terrain and the life-like creature designs. Certain scenes like Rango's first encounter with the Hawk, the "bat-attack" and his search for the "spirit of the west" left me in complete awe of the technical work on display.
The screenplay balances the material in such a way that it is accessible to both kids and adults alike. Though I feel most kids won't be able to get the references to earlier movies. The plot too is pretty complex for a movie of this kind and doesnt shy away from scary moments to adult references.
The voice work is top-notch and everyone fits the bill to the tee. Johnny Depp I find can be moody and when the right role isn't there he tends to be on auto-pilot, not here though. He seems to be enjoying the role so much that rarely did I feel I was listening to or watching an animated Johnny Depp. The other notable mention is to Bill Nighy whose silky smooth sinister much like Lee Van Cleef used to be in the older days. The only misstep I felt was Timothy Olyphant as the voice of the "spirit of the west", if you happen to watch the movie and compare his voice to an iconic actor known for these roles, you'll know the difference in dialogue delivery in an instant if you are a real fan.
'Rango' has a large share of content which adults might appreciate more than the kids but it would be unfair to label for an older audience. There is enough in the movie which kids will love and laugh out loud and plenty which will keep the parents occupied too.
A brilliantly animated, written and voiced animated feature that deserves to stand with the best this genre has had to offer in the past few years. Not to be missed at any cost.