I Saw A Film Today… Rango

I have stated before that there is nothing better than a theater all to yourself. Which means (besides a somewhat deep insight into my social habits) that I absolutely dread a theater with many loud people present. Such as Rango was. Well, not many people but people with kids. What amazed me upon observing these children is this: they were not interested in the lizard on-screen. Have children become so saturated with entertainment that not even a comical lizard can keep their attention? Food for thought.


A chameleon (Johnny Depp) lives a pretty good, albeit lonely life as a family’s pet. That is until he is rocketed out of the back of a car and left to fend for himself in the desert. He wonders around for a bit until he meets a lizard named Beans (Isla Fisher). She takes him to a town known as Dirt, where the townspeople are in the middle of a drought.

The chameleon realizes something: these people don’t know who he is. He could be anybody. With this he takes on the alias of Rango, a rough and tough drifter from out west.  Soon, the town comes under attack by a hawk which is accidentally defeated by Rango. He is then summoned to the office of the mayor (Ned Beatty), where he is appointed Sheriff of Dirt.

With his newfound popularity, Rango declares that he will figure out why the town is running dry. But has he bitten off more than he can chew? Will he discover the secret to the drought in time? And will the townsfolk find out who Rango truly is?

Rango is a perplexing film. It is marketed towards children yet the more appropriate audience for it is smart adult film lovers. I’m not saying that the little ones wont get a kick out of the movie, but the plot and references (ranging from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to The Man With No Name trilogy) are too complex most of the time. It’s almost like what would happen if Quentin Tarantino was given control over an animated film (minus the blood, gore, and language).

This film is an early front-runner for one of my favorite films of the year. The spirit of classic Western films is encapsulated in this animated film and is nothing short of beautiful. The animation is the best I’ve seen since last year’s Toy Story 3, if not better.

But the truly great part about this film is the talented voices behind it. Johnny Depp is fantastic as the flamboyant chameleon and forgiven for the hot mess of a film The Tourist. Not to mention Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, and many more recognizable names in perfect old West accents. There is also a great cameo by Timothy Olyphant as “The Spirit of The West”.

While Rango does take a little while to find its story, once it does there is no stopping the fun.

Verdict: SEE IT!

*Poster by David Edward Johnson

Did you see Rango this weekend? What did you think? Leave comments and opinions below.


One Response to “I Saw A Film Today… Rango”

  1. I quite liked it. I admit I had some problems with the formula, but there were enough moments where it got surreal enough (the walking cacti, for example) that it kept it interesting. Good review check out mine when you can!

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