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Starring: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Timothy Olyphant, Abigail Breslin, Bill Nighy, Alfred Molina, Ray Winstone, Ned Beatty, Stephen Root, Harry Dean Stanton
A chameleon that aspires to be a swashbuckling hero finds himself in a Western town plagued by bandits and is forced to literally play the role in order to protect it.
Release Date: 4 March 2011
Rango is a tribute to the Western genre. And it's also a parody of the Western genre too. Slice in a bit of film noir and you have yourself a comedy/animation that is geared right at the sentimentality and emotions of an audience over the age of 35. But I wonder if any of the kids are going to get it or even like it.
In the audience screening I was in, most of the kids didn't seem to get it at all. They shuffled in their seats and they also forced their parents to go to the washroom with them 1-3 times during the film too. That's sign #1 that kids were bored, because if they are into the film they aren't paying attention to their bladder.
I really enjoyed Rango. It was funny, clever, adventerous and it also told a great yarn with a nice theme for humans. The point of Rango is to say that we should never bail out on our own story. And if you do, then you haven't lived a full life. During times of conflict and desperation, many of us do bail out on our own journeys. To some of us it's just too hard with the situations we were born into and got into my our own idealisms, realisms and stupidities.
Rango is a lizard who lives in a pet lizard tank. He's desperate for some sort of adventure as the movie starts with him attempting to entertain himself by making up tall tales to himself, a toy fish and the broken barbie without a head in the tank with him. Then the tank jumps out into the real world, breaks and the lizard is now free to finally have his own story in life.
It makes me wonder if say, I, or any other person, would be like if we were born and lived our whole life in a cage of some kind. Would we also attempt to tell stories to ourselves with the props in the cage and things we see through the cage as inspirations? Are we all natural storytellers and that's man's first instinct after survival? As soon as we take care of food, water, shelter and projection, storytelling is the next step in the evolution of life?
So Rango goes on his adventure and gets into a Chinatown situation. He's like Jack Nicholson from the 1970s film. He's in over his head in the search of the missing water in the town he lands in. There's a corporate greedy man who's controlling it in order to control the world. And the little lizard Rango must stop him. Of course there's a love story too, except in this movie there isn't any of that incest stuff happening.
The brilliance of Rango is that it's a tribute to all the great movies of the past while also being its own film in the process. And that's also the detriment of Rango too. Because the less movies you've seen, the less you'll probably like the film.
In one of the early scenes, Rango walks into a pub in the small Western town. That scene we've all seen a thousand times in the past if you've watched a Western. What they do is completely rip off the moment from Back to the Future 3 when Marty McFly walks into the bar and asks for water. What a random film to pay tribute to! But they might as well because, well why not!
Bottomline, Rango is an animated film for smart moviegoers. With rich moments between the characters and with a color templete that's not insulting to the audience ala about 50 animation films from the past decade.
Rango involves the audience and gets them into the film. And it's in 2D too! What a refreshing way to watch an animation film. And the irony of all ironies that this is perhaps the animation film that should be in 3D, whereas the rest from the past 7 years are just don't that way to fleese even more money from the movie audience.
The most surprisingly fresh and great film I've seen in a long, long time. Thanks for finally making an important animated film Hollywood.