Wrangling Rango, A Review

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Rango

Rango

Movie night! And it is my weekly trip to the local cinema with tonight’s offering the animated flick Rango. I had seen the promos for some time and found they gave no real indication of this movie at all. They are somewhat misleading, but in an unusual way in that Rango is far from just another animated film.

The feeling you get from the promos is that this is animation primarily aimed a younger audience but which adults would enjoy to. It is the norm with animated films today. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Rango is animation for adults and if adults take kiddies along so be it. Bums on seats equates to more bucks so a film makers aren’t going to cut out a potential market by pushing it as solely adult orientated. I have consistently stated throughout my movie watching life that animation isn’t solely the domain of children and have tried hard in breaking down this barrier of ignorance within adults. If Rango doesn’t finally get through to adults then I sadly fail to wonder what ever will.

This reluctance of adults to watching animated films is ridiculous. You watch The Simpsons don’t you? And you cannot seriously tell me that our yellow four fingered friends are for a younger audience. No, they are strictly aimed at adults.

So Rango for me is a real breath of fresh air. OK it is somewhat under marketed in terms of the audience it is aimed at, but animated film makers are all too aware how difficult it is to get adults into an animated feature. So unfortunately Rango suffers from being under promoted in trying to be all things to all people. It is a shame because it a very good animated film for adults.

I don’t need to go into a synopsis for by now most of you out there are aware of the film or have seen it. All I need to go into is what I liked about it and more importantly , is it any good.

So what did I like about Rango? Well…everything! And I mean everything. I cannot fault this movie in anyway, that is a good way to start is it not?! Where to start though?! I suppose since it is animated it must be the animation. And what animation it is! Honestly it is simply unbelievable…breath taking…jaw dropping..incredible, and will just blow your mind with its crispness and clarity. The detail is just staggering, it is so good that this is as close as animation can get to replicating real life imagery.

And here again, why is this just the domain of children? I don’t believe kiddies could ever comprehend and enjoy the craftsmanship of Rango. It is flawlessly animated and the viewer can only sit watching slack jawed as one amazing scene after another comes before their feasting eyes. And that is what it is, a visual feast. It is so good that it is a pity that most will never see it in all its glory on the big screen. I will tell you now that I intend to see this film in the theater several more times just to let my eyes gorge themselves on this visual wonderment.

So yes the animation is something really special! So clear, crisp and stunning. And if you don’t believe me then you haven’t seen the scene where Rango meets ‘ the man with no name’! You can honestly believe it was Clint Eastwood himself standing there! The features are so true to life, as are all the animals of the town, warts and all!

The storyline has the obligatory moral tone of all animated features. There are several here pertaining to telling the truth as lying makes things worse, and being true to yourself and others, etc. They rarely vary but I will never knock this within animation. If it puts a good message into a kids head through humor and fun then all for the good I say. But again this is an adults movie. It is very western based and if you are immersed in western watching you’ll love this movie. It is all there. Posses, gunfights, gambling, drinking, women of dubious character, saloons, desert, cactus, sheriffs, guns for hire, the suppressed, and the loner good guy in the guise of Rango who eventually saves the day.

Yes, all you western watchers will love it. There are many so many in house jokes and subtle references to famous westerns you have to be on your toes to recognize them all. But it is visually a western to. The scenery is Utah, Death Valley etc of western fame. The dust, heat, and sheer barrenness are beautifully portrayed. This may be animation but I can’t see why it can’t be called a western in the traditional sense. It is a remarkable animated film as I can think of no other that has attempted this genre.

It even goes as far as parodying the Star Wars films but within a western type of way. Great stuff, and immensely enjoyable as a true film watcher will ‘get’ all the inhouseness and parodying.

Johnny Depp is a marvel as Rango! He is fantastic as a chameleon who doesn’t know who is. His voice and whole sense of character comes through magnificently and it is hard to imagine another actor being as good. Depp was just born to be Rango as he could play the character in a true to life film just as well.

All in all Rango is as perfect a animated feature as you can get. The storyline is good and conducive to its western theme, the voices, especially of Depp, are wonderful, the characters are believable and recognizable. This really comes down to it being a ‘must’ see, because for no other reason the animation is flawless and just stunning. You’ll want to see it again on the big screen because it is just that good.

For valid reason that I stated above the makers couldn’t push this solely as an adult feature. My advice to you is to see it without the kids because I doubt they’ll be able to absorb Rango. If they start fidgeting and whining then you’ll miss out yourself.

So come on all you adults out there, get over your ignorance and prejudice of animated films!! If you watch The Simpsons, Family Guy, etc why not a full length feature film? This one is aimed at you, and whilst not rude or crude it is still damn good fun and I promise you this…you will enjoy yourself, and I’ll be very surprised if you don’t come out marveling at some of the best animation you are ever likely to see. Pixar had better start looking over their shoulders!

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About Brent Pearce

Brent joined BCDB because of his blog posts. Dave noticed this New Zealander's posts, and recruited him to also write for BCDB. Now Brent is our in-house movie reviewer, too. Want to say Hi? Send Brent a note here.

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