Stars: ★★★★1/2

Year: 2011

Country: United States 

Director: Gore Verbinski

Voices: Johnny Depp (Rango), Isla Fisher (Beans, the iguana), Abigail Breslin (Priscilla)

Genre: Animation

Producer: Nickelodeon

Rango, the chameleon, lives in his little terrarium with a toy fish and a headless Barbie. No social contact, no worries. And no idea of how to survive in the real world. This is not a problem if you live quietly in your terrarium. But when your terrarium falls from your owner’s car, and you end up alone in a desert by the side of the road, it does become a problem. Rango walks and walks and walks. He has no idea where to go, until he finds an iguana who gets him with her to Dirt, an Old West town in crisis because of the lack of water. Little did the animals of the town know that Rango would eventually become their last string of hope.

What first called my attention about Rango, since the moment I saw the trailer, was its original and realistic animation style. It is not as colourful and “perfect” as in movies by Pixar, Disney and Dreamworks. It doesn’t look like a cartoon. It looks like real life. And that’s in part, what makes it so beautiful and different.

Something else remarkable about Rango is its smart plot. I could identify at least three topics the movie deals with. The main one is wondering who you really are and where you belong, the least original of the three in my view, as this “be yourself” thing has already become a well known cliché. Another topic is power, and what people do to get it and control others. The movie deals with this issue in a very intelligent way. Just as in real life money gives power to people, in Dirt town water gives power to the one who has it. Everybody needs water. If there’s little water left, and you have it, you can control others. You can do whatever you want. Isn’t this a great metaphor? And it reflects exactly the world we live in! Anyway, there’s still a last topic I haven’t talked about: faith, and the need to believe in something. Faith (meaning religion or not), is sometimes the only thing that keeps us moving forward. The people in Dirt town have no water, and as no water means dying, then they need to believe that things will change. That things will get better. And that’s what makes them move on.

Apart from having this clever and thought-provoking plot, the movie entertains a lot with some awesome action scenes (which include a very cool chase!), and hilarious jokes. At one point my brother and I were laughing so hard that our stomachs started to hurt 😀

I’ve read that there are lots of references to classic westerns in Rango, but as the closest thing to a western I’ve ever seen is Back To The Future III, I wasn’t able to identify them. Unfortunately (or not), most of my generation don’t even know what a western is, in contrast to people like my parents who always watched TV shows like Bonanza and Wild Wild West when they were kids. People who like them will probably enjoy Rango even more than me.

In part because of these western references and in part because of the smart plot and subplots I’ve mentioned before, Rango seems to be a movie more for adults than for kids. There are even some double entendre jokes in it! But they’re so sutil that children may be unable to recognise it. And anyway, this is not the first time we see something like this. Shrek for instance, uses the same kind of humour, and kids also like it (at least my seven-year-old cousin does).  So all in all, I would say Rango appeals to both adults and youngsters.

I don’t want to give an end to this review without mentioning the film’s great soundtrack. The music really accompanies everything in the movie, and by the end of it I rewinded some scenes just to keep listening to the soundtrack. Oh, and by the way, Johnny Depp’s voice is perfect for Rango!

Just in case it wasn’t clear enough, I thoroughly recommend this movie. It’s original, it’s entertaining, it’s funny and it’s thought-provoking. What else could I ask for? ☼

Watch the trailer ↓

– Written by GuadiRC –


13 Responses to Rango

  1. Pingback: Movies – Rango | Glutton for books, movies & series

  2. Ipodman says:

    I like this movie too… I like the look and feel of it as well as the story 😀

  3. Ben says:

    The animation is really something. I think its one of the breakthrough of Nickelodeon since I guess “Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events”. The owls are really funny, they are anti-climatic narrator, which makes all the narration exciting. The gun-totting bats was the best.

    PS: I just remembered that this is one of the movies I first reviewed. Brings back memories. :]

  4. fictionworms says:

    Yeah, the owls were great! They reminded me of the slugs in Flashed Away. Have you seen it? Those slugs were as well singing in the most inopportune moments! xD

    PS: Did you post that review in your blog? I don’t remember reading it, and I think I saw all your posts since you began writing.

    • Ben says:

      The slugs are really cute, and slimy. I even bought a DVD of the movie. XD

      PS: I did but I didn’t mention that it was from Nickelodeon. XD

      • fictionworms says:

        Ah, you mean A Series of Unfortunate Events! I thought you were talking about Rango! And I haven’t read a Rango review by you, that’s why 😛

        PS: I also bought a DVD of the movie! And I don’t usually buy DVDs, you know 🙂

  5. Nostra says:

    Really great movie that I think will get the Oscar for best animation. I also liked the fact that the owls were constantly saying he was going to die, setting up your expectations. This is one that will be somewhere in my top 10 of best movies this year!

    • fictionworms says:

      I hadn’t thought about the next Oscar edition, but you’re absolutely right, Rango totally deserves it! Besides, I can’t think of any other remarkable animation movie this year, can you?

  6. Nostra says:

    Well, possibly Tin Tin if that one belongs to the category, but still got the feeling that doesn’t stand a chance

    • fictionworms says:

      I’ve been waiting for that one since I saw the trailer a few months ago (I used to see the TV animated series when I was a kid, and loved it!). Maybe the movie is good, but I don’t think it’ll be better than Rango 😛

  7. I thought this was a great movie too.

    I picked up on your comment there that you hadnt seen many westerns… I’d recommend starting out with Clint Eastwood’s “Unforgiven” or the recent Bale/Crowe “3:10 to Yuma” and see if either of those give you a desire to explore the genre more. There’s a great section of films waiting out there for you!

    • fictionworms says:

      Thank you so much for your recommendations! I added the two movies to my Watchlist and told my parents to watch them together 🙂 I like Clint Eastwood and both Christian Bale and Russel Crowe, so I’m already excited about the movies!

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