When you take Western, cross it with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, make it about nasty small creatures, and make it all totally awesome, this is what you get
Gore Verbinski’s Rango is a fine ILM-film with a fine cast; it stars Johnny Depp, Alfred Molina, Ned Beatty, Bill Nighy, Harry Dean Stanton and several other stars, but since Swedes have a tendency to dub all animated feature films ever – no matter how insane – I was rendered unable to tell which character was voiced by Molina or Nighy etc. etc.
Either way, our story – which, for some reason, is told by a group of singing owls – begins as our protagonist Rango (Depp), a self-proclaimed master-actor and also a chameleon, falls out of the car of his owners and after running into Raoul Duke – I’m totally serious – and a mysterious armadillo (Molina), who looks like an UrRu from The Dark Crystal, who tells him of a nearby town inhabited by small animals, he visits said town. There he uses his acting-skills and wits to come off as a legendary hero. Of course, the citizens – each uglier than the last; there are NO cute animals in this town, aside from this one mouse – believe him, make him their new sheriff and ask him to help them find the ones responsible for all the water disappearing.
What follows is lots and lots of action, adventure, more gritty characters, great jokes and all that other stuff I love.
Characters that Rango runs into throughout all of this include Beans, a female lizard voiced by Isla Fisher, the suspicious mayor, a tortoise voiced by Ned Beatty, a giant snake voiced by Bill Nighy and even Clint Eastwood! Lucky guy.
This movie is strong on visuals, let me tell ya! All of the animated characters are unbelievably detailed, not to mention unbelievably grotesque, but in a good way! By that I mean that they are unique and extremely fascinating and fun to watch, as is much of the other imagery in the movie. Never before has a movie looked so hideous and so astonishingly beautiful at the same time.
As you might have been able to tell by now, I really liked this film – loved it, in fact! I loved the characters, the visuals, the music (especially that which pays homage to Ennio Morricone), the in-jokes, the imagery and the surreal dream-sequences – yeah, this movie has some of those, too! I’m also glad the movie was in glorious 2D(!) which meant I could actually friggin’ SEE what was going on, which is a rarity these days.
Parents, be warned. This is not a movie for little children; the language is somewhat rude, the images can be very frightening and I don’t think they’ll get the clever in-jokes. See, there are references to films such as Chinatown, Apocalypse Now, Transformers, Star Wars, and the list goes on and on.
Bottom line – it’s an excellent film, worth seeing escpecially if you’re a smart moviegoer, have some cinema-experience and thus get the jokes. Otherwise… watch it anyways!! It totally rocks!! ILM, be proud!!!!