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Rango

A movie directed by Gore Verbinski.

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  • Mar 5, 2011
Rating:
+3
RANGO
Written by John Logan
Directed by Gore Verbinski
Voices by Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty and Alfred Molina
 
Rango: No man can walk out on his own story.
 
As I waited for RANGO to start, I was forced to sit through a number of trailers for this year’s other expected animated features.  All are unnecessary sequels hoping to cash in on previous success and they all look forced at best.  All are of course in 3D as well to ensure the largest returns possible.  It all got me wondering where the originality has gone.  Even RANGO is yet another animation where animals walk and talk like human beings but somehow this lizard manages to stand out amongst the competition.  And he does this despite his best efforts to blend in.
 
When we first meet Rango, he is self-described as someone who “has yet to enter his own story”.  To be fair, your story options are somewhat limited when you’re living in a tank.  Fortunately for Rango, and at the precise moment when he realizes he is desperately in need of “an unexpected event to propel the hero into conflict,” he finds himself suddenly trapped in a chain of events that leads him to his new life in the Mojave Desert.  Now, Rango is no ordinary lizard.  More specifically, he is a chameleon and designed to blend in, but has been on display his whole life.  With no idea who he actually is though, Rango has always had to rely on theatrics and drama to distract from himself, which appears to have taken its toll.  The other particularly incredible thing about this lizard?  He is voiced by Johnny Depp.
 
Depp is the epitome of neo-cool.  He has always been cool by constantly coming off as the embodiment of the freshest take on more classical ideas of cool, without ever looking like he is trying.  Here, Depp channels the sprawling cinematic drawl of the Spaghetti Western, with help from his former PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN director, Gore Verbinski.  Depp brings his humbled awkwardness along with him and when you couple that with Rango’s incredibly deep-rooted insecurity, you’ve got a lizard in one heck of an existential crisis.  While all of this elevates RANGO to a height of animated sophistication that is both thought provoking and hilarious at times, it is also decidedly adult.  In fact, an owl mariachi band repeatedly reminds us throughout the film that we are watching the story of our hero’s demise.  Taunting children that death is coming seems a bit frightening to me but the owls are awful cute so the news doesn’t seem quite so harsh.
 
Naturally, Rango meets a bunch of other critters in the desert, most of them not so cuddly, and he must help them save their town by playing the hero they so gravely need.  In order to do so though, Rango must actually become the hero instead of just playing the part.  Some of RANGO’s imagery and themes may be scary for younger audiences but it’s Rango’s angst over not knowing who he is that will be most frightening for adults.  And seeing as how some us never actually get around to pointing that mirror inward, maybe its not such a bad idea after all to get people asking the question a little earlier in life.

Thanks for reading.
LUNCH rating is out of 10.

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March 11, 2011
I want to go see this so bad, great review.
March 11, 2011
Yes, not to be missed. Thanks!
 
March 06, 2011
Loved this lizard too!! Nice work, Joseph!
March 06, 2011
Thanks! I preferred the lizard to the little girl in True Grit. :P
 
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More Rango reviews
review by . March 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Clever, Fun and Entertaining....Johnny Depp Rides On As
I am going to be truly honest here; I love spaghetti westerns and I enjoy almost any film with any sort of theme, tone and mood that is the slightest bit similar to a western. That said, I hope you can understand the mindset I went into this new animated film directed by Gore Verbinski called “Rango”. The film was written by John Logan (responsible for acclaimed hits such as “Gladiator” and “The Aviator”), who isn’t exactly known for kid movies; and I have …
review by . March 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Going into this film I had pretty low expectations. It’s released by Nickelodeon, stars Johnny Depp, who tends to be rather feast or famine, and is an animated film that’s not made by Pixar. Due to that latter fact, the probability of it sucking hard went up by, oh, about 300%. So imagine my surprise when I went in and actually liked the movie! Rango stars Depp as the title character, a chameleon who finds himself lost in the middle of the Nevada desert. A kindly, if somewhat …
review by . August 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     When I first discovered that director Gore Verbinski was not going to continue his "Pirates of the Caribbean" saga to work on a new animated film called "Rango", I was a bit of a skeptic. And then, the film released, and I started hearing some good things about it; so I saw it. You can't tell much from trailers, but if you take a good luck as the ones for "Rango"; you'll notice that the animation alone may be enough reason for you to see it, especially if …
review by . March 15, 2011
From the minute I saw the trailer for this movie at True Grit I had high expectations for Rango. Now that I've finally seen it, my expectations were met and exceeded by how incredibly awesome this movie is. Rango is not only the first great movie of 2011, but it's one of the greatest animated films of the last 10, maybe even 20 years and one of the best non-disney/pixar/dreamworks animated films ever. I knew I was going to love this movie, but I had no idea that I would love it as much …
review by . March 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I’m wary when it comes to animated movies because I don’t know when I’m going to experience another Shrek (which was surprisingly awesome) or Hoodwinked (which is easily in the top three worst films I ever had to sit through, and takes the cake on worst kid movie I’ve ever had to endure) I had no intention of going to see Rango, but one of my aunts really wanted to see it for her birthday so to the movies my family and I went. On opening weekend. On a Saturday matinee. …
review by . March 27, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I think it's fair to say that CGI animated movies are really coming of age. As well as actual animation quality reaching new levels of brilliance, films such as How To Train Your Dragon and recent releases from Pixar, such as Up and Toy Story 3, have shown that you can add real emotional depth and take a less formulaic approach to storytelling without sacrificing good old-fashioned entertainment. We're now at a stage where movies that are primarily aimed and marketed at children are appreciated …
review by . March 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Gore Verbinski’s Rango is a treasure of an animated film – funny, smart, stylish, perfectly cast, and a technical achievement. Although its pratfall humor, bright colors, and usage of talking animals will almost certainly make it accessible to children, I suspect adults will find it more appealing, for they are far more likely to be familiar with the conventions of the movie western. This movie doesn’t miss a beat: It takes place …
review by . August 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Thematic, Pretty And Not For Everyone
   When you think of the heavy hitters in the animated feature film realm, it’s certainly understandable if the first things that come to mind are Disney, Pixar or DreamWorks.  However Nickelodeon has been hovering around the scene for a while now, hoping to earn a nice piece of the CG animated movie pie. Rango is by far their most serious attempt and while the film’s deserved PG-13 rating may succeed at distancing it from its key demographic (a concept all studios would …
review by . March 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Every film product must satisfy it's audience. Since we're talking about an animated film, the goals are harder to obtain simply because you must project a rich and attractive story filled with funny moments and a detailed animated world. We've seen animated movies made for a smaller audience like, for example, The Illusionist from last year, which addresses adults and not underaged idealists. Rango is a movie for all ages because probably everyone will have a good time …
review by . March 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Rango, Is Best Suited For The 12 Year and Older Kids.
When my wife and I first seen the advertisement on the television we thought that it was really cute. If it were not for the fact that our daughter has also seen this preview, we probably never even thought twice about taking her to see it. What the preview doesn't show you is all of the senseless words that the chameleon( voice of Johnny Depp) uses throughout the whole movie. This computer animated western is supposed to be for the kids, but with this language the has transpired throughout …
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #26
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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About this movie

Wiki


The film was produced by Nickelodeon Movies, Gore Verbinski's production company Blind Wink, and Graham King's GK Films. The CGI animation was created by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), marking the first feature animation done by ILM, generally a special effects company.[4]

During voice recording, the actors were given costumes and sets to "help give them the feel of the Wild West". Star Johnny Depp had a 20-day window in which he could voice his role as Rango, and the filmmakers scheduled the supporting actors so as they could do their scenes with Depp and interact with him.[5]

Verbinski said his attempt with Rango was to do a "small" film after the large-scale Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, but that he underestimated how painstaking and time-consuming animated filmmaking is.

An animated Western with a chameleon as the hero is an unlikely concept, butRangois a great film thanks to its witty mix of parody, intriguing characters, and sophisticated humor. When a common pet chameleon who's suffering from an identity crisis crashes headfirst into the stereotypically classic Western town of Dirt, he has the unique opportunity to completely reinvent himself. Dubbing himself Rango, the chameleon boasts of his own heroism and creates a spiral of deception that lands him an appointment as sheriff of a town in crisis. The question is, can one unprepared and completely unqualified chameleon possibly change this little town's future for the ...
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Tags

Movies, Animated Films, 2d, Paramount Pictures, Gore Verbinski Movies

Details

Director: Gore Verbinski
Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation
Release Date: 4 March 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: John Logan
Runtime: 107 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures
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