Rango - Review

Talk about an animated movie that suits Johnny Depp like a glove. If you just look at the poster and read Johnny Depp's name above that crazy looking chameleon looking like Hunter S. Thompson you know that Johnny Depp is the right actor to go for this role. So how does Rango hold up?

The plot:
Rango is an ordinary chameleon who accidentally winds up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost in the Wild West in desperate need of a new sheriff. When he accidently becomes their new sheriff, the town's last hope for water lies in the hands of Rango.

The plot itself is pretty basic and nothing entirely new that other animated movies didn't do before. it kind of follows the "outlaw-gets-popular-formula". But the movie still delivers a timeless and interestingly packaged moral at the end.

While the plot isn't the movies biggest goal, it's the characters. The voiceacting of Johnny Depp but also all of the other cast members is incredibly good. The old western accent is pulled of very believable (but not as hardcore as in "True Grit") and matches the flick's mood. I can't pick one character above the other. Every character distinguishes himself from the other. Especially Johnny Depp whose wicked crazy acting style fits Rango's character is really memorable.
I am convinced that the character Rango alone wouldn't be able to hold up an entire movie, but fortunately he is accompanied by all those really entertaining and funny supporting characters.
A thing that i didn't like about one specific character was the villain. Sure it is a kids movie, but you can point out the villain right from the moment you are introduced to the character. That's kind of a bummer for me, especially when you know that there's kind of a twisty villain-reveal at the end.

A big issue many people had with Rango is that the movie is quite difficult to categorize whether it's an animated movie for kids or adults. I honestly ecountered the same problem. The comedy in Rango is not like in Shrek where the adult humour is packaged so well that the adult humour doesn't hamper the kid friendly feel. In Rango, the comedy has two faces. 50% of the comedy consists of kid-friendly slapstick humour, while the other 50% are really harsh,gritty,adult in-your-face jokes. Some of those adult jokes might not be suitable for all kids because the differ way too much from the kid-friendly slapstick from a couple of minutes ago.
I don't know if i should consider that aspect of the movie a good thing or a bad thing.
You could really argue whethter director Gore Verbinski intentionally wanted the comedy to be this way or not. Anyway, the simple fact that the movie tries to appeal to people of every ages alone is a big plus, although Verbinski has to refine the balance between the harsh and the kiddy jokes.

Another thing i really dug were the numerous tributes to other classic famous movies like "The good,the bad and the ugly" or even "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". But also the soundtrack itself seems to be a tribute to the good old Sergio Leone westerns.

The visuals and the animation of the movie...well there's not much to say except that it's top notch. Nowadays Pixar and Dreamworks mainly set the bars for new animated movies to come. Considering, the visuals, Rango is up there with the very best in the business.

All in all, Johnny Depp mostly gets praise when teaming up with Tim Burton but movies like "Rango" show us that the team Depp/Verbinski shouldn't be underestimated. I couldn't imagine any other actor voicing Rango than Johnny Depp. And while the movie has some problems keeping a soft balance between adult and kids jokes, the movie won't leave your kids emotionally scarred or anything. Rango truly is one of the better and most memorable animated feature experiences this year. So there's no excuse not to see "Rango".

Final Verdict: 8 out of 10


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