188 of 234 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant in every sense of the word
Director Gore Verbinski has put together quite the filmography over the years. His first feature film was the family comedy Mousehunt, which he followed up with the R-rated action comedy The Mexican. He also jumped on the successful remake bandwagon before the trend really took off with The Ring. It was the Pirates of the Caribbean films that teamed the director with the...
Published on March 3, 2011 by C. Sawin
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent not great
Predictable and kind of boring, but the kids enjoyed most of it.
Cgi animals were more creepy than cute
I did love the fear and loathing nod at the beginning though
Published 6 months ago by pat
Most Helpful First | Newest First
188 of 234 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant in every sense of the word,
Rango isn't your average animated film. That fact will become abundantly clear during Rango's opening monologue amongst his "friends." The film is actually more adult than any of the trailers let on. Within the first ten minutes of the film, Rango has a rather lengthy conversation with some fresh roadkill. In addition to that, the last half of the film is much darker than the first half. Maybe it's the countless number of bats with gatling guns strapped to them, Rattlesnake Jake being one of the most menacing animated villains in years, the film using its fair share of both "hell" and "damn" quite a few times, the film not shying away from the use of nooses, or, God forbid, animated characters smoking, but Rango just doesn't feel like an everyday, run-of-the-mill film put out by Nickelodeon.
Rango also wears its western references on its sleeve. The old time saloons, tumbleweeds, stare downs before a gunfight, and a town's utmost desire for both a sheriff and something to believe in are proof of that. But perhaps it's Timothy Olyphant's cameo appearance as The Spirit of the West that is both the biggest homage to westerns you could possibly think of and the biggest surprise of the film (at least as far as his appearance goes). Well it's either that or the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas reference. Both are equally amazing.
This has the atmosphere of an animated film that was made for adults. It's very off-balanced in the best kind of way, but a lot of the references and humor are sure to go over a child's head. Some of the characters in the film talk really fast (mostly just Rango and Beans at times) and while Rango is goofy enough to make the kids laugh, the subject content involving the town of Dirt certainly seems to be aimed towards a more mature sense of humor.
Rango is the first animated film from Industrial Light & Magic, the special effects company that did computer generated effects for the first three Star Wars films and the effects for the T-1000 in Terminator 2 among countless others. The film looks phenomenal. There were times when Rango looked like he was walking in an actual desert. While the characters weren't quite as detailed as the owls in Legend of the Guardians, they still looked incredibly realistic or as realistic as talking animals could possibly be.
Rango is one of the most eccentric animated films you'll ever have the pleasure of sitting through. Its homage to westerns combined with its explosive action sequences, an endless amount of hilarity, tender and sentimental moments that actually make you feel sorry for a talking lizard, and even a little bit of romance pretty much has all your bases covered as far as genres are concerned. Rango is a dark, witty, and entertaining ride that's also fairly mature for an animated film. All in all, Rango is easily the best movie of 2011 so far.
101 of 130 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great animation, but really more for film buffs and lovers of animation than for kids,
On the surface, the plot is fairly straightforward, at least in the set-up. A terrarium-housed pet chameleon lizard (it's significant after the fact that you never know his real name) ends up stranded in the desert where he is directed to a small town that is on the verge of extinction because of a mysterious water shortage. In his efforts to blend in (he _is_ a chamelon after all), he adopts the name Rango and in quick order suddenly finds himself appointed sheriff and given the mission of finding out what's happened to the town's water.
Stylistically, Verbinski was willing to take some real chances with Rango, and anyone who appreciates animation as an art will find a lot to see here. The level of detail and sheer originality is stunning. Rango does not resemble _anything_ I've seen in an animated film before. Though set in the current day, the world of Rango is essentially an Old West town - aptly named Dirt - that's literally drying up, populated by a cast of animal characters who look like they stepped out of any number of classic Westerns. The difference between Rango and your usual animated take on this theme though is that the residents of Dirt are _not_ cute. In addition to being much closer in look to the real animals they're based on - lizards, tortoises, toads, possums, snakes, prarie dogs and such - they're also grizzled, dusty, sun-bleached and wind-beaten, and in many cases, just downright _ugly_. Including, or even especially, the good guys. One suspects that merchandising for Rango will be somewhat problematic.
But it says something that everything fits together seamlessly. The town really looks like an Old West town on the verge of becoming a ghost town, and the characters look like they really do live there. And again, the level of detail is stunning, from the clothes the characters wear to the characters themselves, the buildings and other structures, the interiors. The four desert-owl mariachi players who sing narration at various points in the film are a case in point. The level of detail that is taken with their intricately shaded feathers, their embroidered mariachi costumes and their musical instruments - and the way all of these things _move_ when the characters do - is amazing. This is a movie you could watch again and again just to appreciate how much the artists put into it.
I have to mention two characters in particular that really stood out: the Mayor (marvelously voiced by Ned Beatty), a tortoise modeled directly on John Huston's genial but chilling Noah Cross from the classic film Chinatown, and Rattlesnake Jake (also marvelously voiced by Bill Nighy), absolutely one of the best animated villains ever created. It's absolutely spell-binding just to watch Jake _move_, a stunning feat of animation. I've never seen an animated character manage to radiate sheer menace on the level that Rattlesnake Jake does. In thinking about it, I now have to amend my earlier statement somewhat; Rattlesnake Jake could definitely scare some younger children. But that said, Rango is worth seeing for Rattlesnake Jake alone.
My mention of Chinatown brings me to the other prospective audience for Rango: film buffs. Rango references a truly astonishing number of movies: several classic Westerns (High Noon; The Good, the Bad & the Ugly; The Quick & The Dead, Paint Your Wagon) as one would expect, but also a number of non-Westerns, some fairly recent (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, A Bug's Life), some classic (Lawrence of Arabia, Apocalypse Now) and some obscure (Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas). And of course Chinatown, not only for the Mayor character but for a number of scenes (watch for the glasses) and a good deal of the plot. And there's also a key scene that's a nod to a famous actor/director who is still remembered for his association with Westerns and for a certain classic character he created. A good example of the little in-jokes in Rango is what he's carrying around in the back of the golf cart. As I said, most kids are going to miss 95 percent of this stuff. Me, I want to get the DVD just so I can watch it again and pick out all of the references I probably missed the first time around. It's that kind of movie.
About my only real criticism of Rango - other than its being marketed to the wrong audience - is that parts of it are uneven and do tend to drag a bit. I think this is because the parts that do seem to be meant for kids tend not to mesh that well with the rest of the film. The parts that adults will enjoy most will probably be of little interest to kids, and the parts that kids will enjoy most will probably make things drag for adults.
But overall, I highly recommend Rango. It's not your typical animated film, and most kids will probably complain that a lot of it's boring, but for anyone who loves the sheer art of animation or who just loves films that reference all manner of movies from the great to the obscure, this is definitely a film you'll want to see.
43 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for kids - and I'm fine with that,
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Chameleon's Animated Story of Self Discovery,
THE SELF DEVELOPMENT ANGLE
The film touches on various issues such as the importance of natural resources, the class system, corruption, etc. I was particularly interested in the self development or personal development angle.
Once Rango's glass home is destroyed and he is released into the real world, he has to cope in foreign surroundings for the very first time. He has many hard lessons to learn and he begins to contemplate who he really is and the true meaning of his life.
He sets off on a journey of self discovery and changes from an insignificant chameleon to become a hero to many characters, dealing with personality crises and many insecurities along the way. He discovers finally who he really is and what he is truly capable of.
If you watch the film with a self development mindset you will spot the motivational phrases and may well find yourself thinking about your own life and where you are heading. This is partly because the main character, Rango, comes across as very authentic and you feel for him as he goes on his journey of self discovery.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
If you love Westerns you will enjoy Rango as there are lines and clichés from the great cowboy films throughout. Although it is a Western aimed at adults, children will also enjoy it for its great animation and action scenes. However, it is not really suitable for very young children as it is quite dark, scary and violent in places with rather creepy characters.
The animation is excellent - very detailed and quite spectacular. Some scenes are breathtaking. Overall the visual detail, lighting and colours are brilliant.
THE DARK COMEDY
Rango does not have a particularly deep plot but it is a clever film. The script is thought-provoking as well as very funny in places. The dialogue is witty with many of the jokes being directed more at adults. This is one of the reasons why adults will enjoy it as much as, or even more than, children.
Although Rango is quite a dark comedy, it is also very touching in places. The basic story has various underlying tones associated with ecology, human personalities, etc. You can watch it on several levels. All in all, the dark humour is wonderfully quirky.
There are many weird characters in the film - not the cuddly type of other animated films but innovative creations with rather intriguing creature effects. They were uniquely created for the story and work well to give this film its dark edge.
There is much visual detail in the film with each character having a unique personality. Some characters (like the Mexican Owl singers) appear at strategic points in the film which add to the creativity and humour. The various voiceovers are well chosen, especially that of Johnny Depp for Rango himself.
As covered in this self development review, Rango is a chameleon who seeks purpose in life and goes from simply existing in his 'glass home' to becoming someone in a community who is respected for all sorts of reasons. With quirky dark humour, great animation and weird characters, this is definitely a film to see.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air among animated movies.,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Look at the animated movies coming out of Japan, they have action, science fiction, romance, all sorts of movies in animated form and yet, we are still churning out Shrek and Toy Story. So I was genuinely surprised when Rango came out.
Here's a movie that is not cute, it has ugly, creepy, and down right disgusting character designs. It has a story trope, usually found in action or western movies. Now, I'm not going to talk about what's the plot or who's playing in it. At that time now, almost everybody knows that. What's so groundbreaking about this movie is the fact that this is a movie that actually treats you like an adult. It has references of movies ranging from such noir classics like Chinatown to Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns. Movies that your kids or today's attention deficit teenagers won't enjoy one bit.
It is also the first feature animation movie created by ILM, George Lucas's special effect power house and it looks like Pixar should be worried. For the animation is so crisp, so detailed, that it borderlines photo-real. It is truly a visual spectacle and another proof that if done right, a 2D animated movie can be as good as a 3D spectacle, in animation off course.
Much kudos to Mr. Gore Verbinski, to elevating the genre that I believe has limitless potential but is limited in its ambition. So if you consider yourself a fan of good, well written, well made and gorgeous to look at movies, then do yourself a favor and go buy it right now.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, great movie, that tips it's hat to many western movies that came before it!,
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very unique film.,
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very entertaining,
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally,
As a jaded moviegoer, I have to tell you that this is the first movie in a long LONG time that made me actually laugh out loud. Seriously.
The humor is adult enough that I enjoyed it, and some of the themes hinted at are obscure enough that only a thoughtful adult will even catch on or appreciate it. The comic timing is very well done. There is some language, but nothing you won't hear in prime time television or walking past a group of adults on the street.
I did not want to like this movie. I actually ridiculed it when the trailer came out and it hit theaters. I was so wrong. It's one of my most favorite animated films now.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prof. Ratigan Reviews,
That's what we call a malapropism and it's the backbone of Rango (2011). I love a pun. Preferably a pun that is as close to the "intended" word as possible-orange in "orange you glad I didn't say banana" sounds nothing like "aren't" while mammogram does sound like anagram. Puns aren't all Rango has to offer, it does physical comedy, poop jokes, and much much more. It's flat out hilarious.
A chameleon (Johnny Depp) is without an identity. He does some acting, has a one act play, and a musical he's working on, but still he can't quite answer that old existential quandry-who am I? After "an ironic, unexpected event, propel[s] the hero" onto the highway and into the city of Dirt, an improvisational response to an awkward bar scene gives him a name, Rango, and a colorful history. Soon, as is wont to happen, he's sheriff of this dusty old town with the tycoon turtle (Ned Beatty) as its mayor and he's got a mystery on his hands-there's a water shortage and we aren't sure what's causing it. Beans (Isla Fisher) knows there's been some water being dumped in the desert, but she can't figure it. Off they go to find the answer, but our villains are crafty and Rango has to find out who he really is.
"Is this heaven?" asks Rango. "If it were we'd be eating Pop Tarts with Kim Novak," replies the Spirit of the West (Timothy Olyphant).
The dialogue is great, but the soundtrack is wonderful. Finally, a movie that has a pitch-perfect sense of music. Perhaps this is in major part due to its magpie collection of the best sounds westerns have offered. I flatter myself that I heard Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), The Magnificent Seven (1960), and obviously Ride of the Valkyries, to my infinite pleasure they played for longer than ten seconds. But I almost cheered when they played Harmonica's Theme at the climax of the movie. Chills, just thinking about it (well, thinking about it to the youtube link I just put there-DIE SOPA DIE!). It's a travesty that the song Rango didn't get nominated for Best Original Song, but I imagine that particular category has seen more travesty than equity in its existence.
Oh yeah, this is an animated movie. Freaking amazing animation. It's dry and realistic. The sun burns into your eyes to show that it's pretty hot in the desert. Rango, which they obviously put the time into, is a scalychameleon but he doesn't glisten like a dinosaur in Jurassic Park (1993)-after all, it's raining at the park, but it's dry in the desert. This bad boy's getting all ten on IMDB. At the climax, I did want some heavily repeated close-ups on the eyes of the duelists, but hey, you can't get everything.
This movie was made (with others, I'm sure) by Gore Verbinski who is responsible for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) and the two pale imitations-but not the worst offender, at least. He's also doing the Lone Ranger movie slated for 2013. Not a devotee of the Ranger, I hadn't invested that much emotion into the idea of its success or failure, but whatever doubts I had have evaporated after seeing Rango. Verbinski is well versed in the western-or at least its greatest incarnations-but should stop fooling around and bring John Logan in to rewrite the thing. Looking at Logan's credits makes my jaw drop. Some crap, to be sure, but a number of excellent films including the upcoming Bond movie, Skyfall. Hehehehe. That's how I feel right now.
Drawbacks? Hmm. Let's see... None. Go see it, go buy it. Now. Go.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Rango [HD] by Gore Verbinski