Film Review: Rango
● By Wendy Sipple
If I had one word to describe the movie Rango it would be odd.
Rango reteams the director of the first three Pirate of the Caribbean films with Johnny Depp. While Rango is definitely ambitious I can’t help feeling they made a movie for a very narrow audience.
Rango is about a chameleon named Rango (voiced by Johnny Depp). Having been a house pet, Rango entertained himself by creating stories in his cage until one day he bounces from his owners car and finds himself lost in the desert. He eventually finds his way to a small rundown town called Dirt and uses his ability to act and create stories to get the towns people to name him sheriff. However, this small town is desperate for water, and they believe that Rango, their new Sheriff, will help them find it.
The big question is will kids like this movie? I intentionally went to an early show that was packed with kids of all ages so I could gauge their reaction. What I could conclude is that the movie may have kept them interested visually, but it didn’t elicit cheers and excitement from them either.Many of the jokes are not intended for children at all and are delivered in a way that will go over their heads. A lot of the movie is dialog driven and relies on quick banter between the characters which can be exhausting even for an adult to follow.
So the next question is will adults like it? The answer is, it depends. Rango pays a lot homage to old westerns and goes so far that it has an animated Clint Eastwood make an appearance as the “man with no name.” While Johnny Depp delivers his lines at lightening speed, with his usual wry wit, it got tiring for me at times to listen. Rango’s pace is also much slower than the usual animated films and its running time is longer than most as well (clocking in at 107 minutes). If you are a big fan of westerns, I think you will have a deeper appreciation for this film than others.
What Rango gets right are the visuals. It’s a strikingly beautiful animated film, and the animation is top notch. It has a unique sense of style and flair. Rango definitely has its moments of fun and adventure too. While it’s not nearly as good as Pixar movies (Up, Wall-E) it is not a failure either...Rango is just an odd movie.
FILMS LIKE RANGO: Antz, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Caroline
Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.