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Jonathan Ke Quan
Rango is a pet chameleon always on the lookout for action and adventure, except the fake kind, where he directs it and acts in it. After a car accident, he winds up in an old western town called Dirt. What this town needs the most is water, but they also need a hero and a sheriff. The thirsty Rango instantly takes on the role of both and selfishly agrees to take on the case of their missing water. Written by
So a slight blurb about how surprised I was that Nickelodeon was tackling several mature themes: Rango boasted quite a number of darker undertones that you wouldn't normally expect from a PG, animated Nickelodeon movie. Such areas included language (sporting such lines as "You son of a-"!, "Go to hell!", and "Can I gut-shoot someone?"), violence (an impressive amount of shooting and dying), sexual themes (making references to how "active" one's mother was and a joke about a mammogram), and the film's portrayal of death (where characters constantly expect Rango's death and at one point, parody death by hanging). That is, you could arguably find just as much material in other animated films, such as The Incredibles- but it just goes to show that Nickelodeon is ready to experiment with a braver sort of film, much like Disney did with Pirates of the Caribbean. Okay, disclaimer over.
Rango is beautiful film that, regardless of its content, gave everyone in the theater a darn good time. Borrowing heavily from classic Westerns (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly) and Western comedies (The Three Amigos), the film brings reinvents a past formula in an amusingly creative way. Rango, a pet chameleon unsure about how he wants his identity to develop, is suddenly cast to into the life of the wild wild west and decides to assume the duties of the sheriff in a troubled town. When the gunslingin' enemies arrive, the trouble begins...
If anything, the film is revolutionary in its animation. The quality and textures of the animals and landscape is simply spot-on and never ceases to amaze. By far this is the movie's greatest strength- and supporting the beautiful visuals is a whole slew of jokes. Like I said before, sometimes the humor is a bit awkward for its targeted audience (there were definitely a lot of times adults laughed instead of the kids) but for the most part the theater as a whole enjoyed the comedic spots. The voice acting cast is of course lively and fun, bringing a unique quality to each and every animal character. And lastly, the score by Hans Zimmer is once again majestic and exciting (influences from his work in Pirates and Sherlock Holmes are easily heard, but with a Mexican twist!).
Overall, Rango is a beautiful and exciting western adventure that you shouldn't miss! As long as you know what you're in for, the humor and the visuals will take you for an unforgettably pleasing ride. 8/10
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