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RobW72027 February 2011
I mean... wow.

*insert slow clap for ILM folks*

Last night my wife and I had the pleasure of checking out an early screening of Rango here in the twin cities. It was a blast! This movie was a great deal of fun. The jokes all hit the right marks, the story was solid, sweet and not too formulaic, and the visuals were outstanding.

There were times that this movie looked 100 percent photo real. outstanding job modeling and texturing and lighting on this. the little tiny attention to detail in the world you guys built had my wife and I in awe throughout most the movie. The animation was fun and eccentric. Over the top but at times subtle and felt meaningful. The only little nit pick was the mouths on some of the characters. in the attempt to make the animals look more like the animals they were representing the mouths were quite small and at times the sync was a bit odd. Though it provided for some goofy looking characters that were fun.

at just over an hour and a half, at times it felt it was a little too slow paced. well, that was my wife's critique. I looked at it more so that they were going for the slower feel of some classic westerns. I thought the long stretches of little dialog, epic music and visuals, and great cinematography worked in the films favor.

The crowd dug it too. I think the youngest person in the theater was about 6 (which i found odd for a late night screening, but whatever) and the oldest was probably in their 70's and everyone was engaged.

I was kind of surprised what they could get away with in a PG rated movie. Im no prude or anything, but there were enough adult jokes snuck in there to give me the giggle fits. Couple of lite swear words, references to more... ehem, adult type themes, but overall pretty tame and enjoyable.

Hats off. If this doesn't win awards I don't know what I believe in anymore. This is one of the more entertaining movies I have seen in a long time.
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Wasn't expecting something this good so early on in the year...
TheLittleSongbird4 March 2011
I heard from a number of people that this was excellent so I went to see it myself being a fan of animated movies and of film in general. And I absolutely loved it, other than being a little too long, which is such a minor complaint, it was a wonderful film with some surprisingly mature themes and does very well at trying something different.

The animation for starters is outstanding. Not only do the characters move convincingly, but the colours look gorgeous and the backgrounds are imaginative and stunning. The soundtrack is another plus, the score is wonderful with a sense of fun, great use of instruments and nods to Ennio Morricone, without being too generic or over-the-top with some inspired musical flavour to it.

The script is funny, smart and quirky as well- loved the Chinatown(Ned Beatty based his performance on that of John Huston's), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Star Wars references- the characters are genuine and likable with heart and don't fall into the trap of being too cliché(there are some but it works in the film's favour and I loved the title character), the film goes at a great pace while remaining wholly satisfying at its end with an almost elegiac quality that is there with almost all the best westerns, the slapstick action bounces along nicely and the story is far from formulaic instead it is original and inventive. The voice acting is wonderful, both Johnny Depp and Bill Nighy- Rattlesnake Jake is awesome!- give knockout performances, while Isla Fisher, Ned Beatty, Alfred Molina, Harry Dean Stanton and Abigail Breslin are equally terrific.

In conclusion, a wonderful film that I wasn't expecting to be this good this early on in the year. On a side note, for those complaining about suitability for children, I actually wouldn't say this was a film for kids but more adult-oriented. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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Rango... Every archetype, convention and finest detail is here! The west lives on...
pzazz_hij4 March 2011
Rango... yes it is a play on the classic Western Django. Thats why its so interesting!

I had eagerly awaited the arrival of Rango, not only as a western fan but also as an admirer of Gore Verbinski; and the inclusion of Johnny Depp has yet to be a bad thing. The trailers had almost completely left out any kind of plot hint, which i now realise was a very good decision.

So, the story is that a chameleon, with acting ambitions, longs for social interaction outside of his lonely environment. His wishes are granted when he stumbles into the western town of 'Dirt' and takes over the vacant role of Sheriff. When he discovers the towns water supply is almost run dry he searches for answers along side the townsfolk, all of whom believe Rango to be their Saviour.

If you have seen the trailer you will have noticed the singing mariachi owls, who tunefully break down the forth wall to open the film. Not too dissimilar to the rooster in Disney's classic Robin Hood they help guide the story along and in doing so also keep you guessing. Which was a real bonus for me in terms of animated films as they do tend to get predictable, despite how well they are told.

Rango himself upon first meet is absolutely NOT a hero. Even more interesting though is that his name is not Rango. In fact we have no clue as to what his name is... no doubt an obvious reference to the classic Spaghetti Westerns to which its inspired by and its Eastwood lead 'Man with No Name' character. But Rango, despite his lack of name, knows what he wants and Verbinski very clearly makes sure the audience knows too... He wants the chance to be a hero and to one have a story to tell. Let the narrative unfold...

The real winner here is the scenery, its animated alright but i was struggling to believe that at various points in the film. The scene in the saloon towards the beginning is fantastically lit and the final showdown is shot better than a lot of the classics. I'm not kidding! In fact I would happily pay to see it again just to look at those shots again because they capture the tension so well.

Although the real audience is those who love the classic west, Verbinski is able to make it accessible to a vast number. The younger audiences will definitely appreciate Depp's eccentric character as well as the very well timed humour, both visually and verbally. The more mature audiences will appreciate the latter a lot more so. The story is excellent! It unravels perfectly and its runtime passes by almost without effort.

Rango is western... make no mistake. But i assure you one thing should you decide to give it a chance, its what it needs to be! Its entertaining, action-packed, funny and sincere. Above all else, it has what makes a great film, alongside the great protagonist is a great antagonist! Rattlesnake Jake is scary... he's great with his words and deadly with his gun and he helps build to a great and tense final showdown!

Rango gets 10/10 from me!
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Existential yet goofy, "Rango" will impress both young and old
Movie_Muse_Reviews4 March 2011
We all face an existential crisis at some time or another, just usually not when we're seven, which will likely be the mean age of children watching this newest non-Pixar non- DreamWorks animated feature. No, "Rango" won't challenge kids to contemplate their role in the cosmos, but that's precisely the predicament of its main character, a theatrical lizard who finds himself — as many animals in animated films do these days — thrust out of domestic bliss and forced to reckon with the untamed and unforgiving nature of the wild natural world. But in addition to all its verboseness and abstract homage to classic Westerns, "Rango" equally dishes out top-notch physical humor and creative characters for the young ones to lap up, even if they're not exactly of age to, as the film puts at least once, "ruminate."

We don't learn much about Rango's life as a pet lizard. In fact, his name is not even Rango; he adopts it as his identity during his adventure. We do see him create his own theatre productions with the random items in his tank and he pretends that they give him feedback and criticism. When he determines that his latest show needs some intense conflict, he finds himself flung from his tank and on the side of the dry desert road. At the advice of an old armadillo (Molina), he seeks out water and stumbles upon the town of Dirt, a classic Wild West locale full or critters and experiencing a nasty drought.

Johnny Depp quickly loses himself into Rango, a character that's somewhere between his take on Willy Wonka and his turn as Hunter S. Thompson. Depp churns out an outstanding animated protagonist, one who is equal parts boisterous and insecure. As the ultimate outsider in Dirt, our lizard hero has an epiphany: he can reinvent himself out here. He takes up his new name and makes up a fantastical tall tale and then with a pinch of luck, becomes the toast of the town and gets anointed sheriff. All seems swell, but something's up in the town with regards to the dwindling water supply and the local critters are getting restless. Rango must truly be the hero he masquerades as.

The creatures of Dirt are fascinatingly animated. They are gritty and unpleasant looking, but awing in their detail. Rango's facial expressions even out-Depp the man behind them as embodied in the scrawny asymmetrical lizard. The animators do a particularly fine job of creating the hot and dry climate of the desert, enough so to recommend that the film is best enjoyed with a beverage in hand. It's so effective that it magnifies the problematic nature of this simple predicament done hundreds of times before. Hidden underneath it all somewhere has to be an environmental message, but not an overt one and not the main lesson to learn from the story.

The language and texture of the film might be decidedly adult, but the conventions of the story and the degree of action aims specifically for children. Rather than aim for a middle ground, "Rango" somehow takes the highest road and the lowest road simultaneously. The dialogue and the situations are sophisticated but the physicality of the characters and the high-flying Western frontier action still plays to a child's understanding. This only proves that "Pirates of the Caribbean" director Gore Verbinski has a real gift for all-ages entertainment.

In addition to Rango's existential quandary, children will not understand the cinematic homages either, particularly to spaghetti Westerns. One of the film's most affecting scenes comes at the moment when our animated hero, as they all do, hits the lowest of lows after he's exposed as a "fraud." Rango has a run-in with "The Spirit of the West," an instantly recognizable figure who has some old-fashioned advice about toughness and walking tall on the path you're given. It's a tender moment as what has been considered a bygone era of cinema plays an important thematic role in such a modern mainstream story.

"Rango" doesn't quite capture the degree of humor and emotional depth that the Pixar greats of the last few years have, but it's a fun adventure with exquisite animation, tasteful characters and a good heart, which puts it as an above-average offering compared to others of its kind. Adults will simply marvel at the intellectual boldness of this pure and simple kids movie and rightfully so. Only with a Pixar gold standard in place does "Rango" come across as flawed; otherwise it's an absolutely pleasant watch from start to finish.

~Steven C

Visit my site at http://moviemusereviews.com
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Real good fun
neilucifer21 March 2011
This movie is insane! I read a lot of negative reviews here, and all of them had one common factor: children. Of course it's not meant for your 4 year old kid, It's a Gore Verbinski movie. This guy made The Ring and Pirates of Caribbean, none of them had any child-safe approach about them. if you want to make your children happy, go and watch Mars need Mom or something.

Ranting aside, this movie is one hell of fun journey and a feast for eyes. No 3d, shining bright colors, A good script that gives space to each and every character, strange and beautiful landscapes; the list is quite endless. It also happens to be quite post modern in it's approach. I couldn't believe what I was watching on screen. You definitely will long for a second watch.

in movie Things were not shiny and tidy. It was full of grime, the characters experienced real helplessness and despair; you could feel for them. That's a big achievement for an animation movie.
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Wonderful Western Animation
TourettesPersonal9 March 2011
"Rango" is more appealing to adults than to kids. It has a lot of reference to the old western movies which kids might not understand. There is nothing new about this movie but "Rango" is visually stunning, full of decency and totally hilarious.Though there are problems about the story but it's dark, crazy, and exciting.

The story is nothing but reference of other western movies. It's kind of a remembrance but it's not compelling and new. There is nothing new about the story. It's just a western relic.

The best thing about this movie is its animation. The visuals are wonderful and eye candy. The character design looks old fashion zany and I love it. Kind of reminded me of "The Misadventures of Flapjack" a TV show from CN. While this movie is from Nickelodeon there are some humor that kids will perhaps laugh. The movie is not in 3D. "Rango" proves us that 3D is not necessary to our lives. 3D shrinks the scale of a movie.

There are no flaws with the voice acting. Johnny Depp is really meant for Rango. Isla Fisher did this before in Horton Hears A Who so it's okay. Bill Nighy is an amazing villain. I want more Ned Beattys' sexy voice. Too bad Timothy Olyphant didn't have enough scenes but it's still great.

My favorite thing about the visuals is the environment. Look at the sky and the desert. Cinematography is also great. Every visuals are eye candy. The scene when Rango and his friends are being chased by bats and gophers is truly breathtaking.

Maybe the reason why Ebert gave this movie a perfect rating because it's not in 3D. Well Rango is not flawless but it is still entertaining. If you like beautiful visuals then I will recommend this movie to death. The story is not really unique. It's still worth watch. The merits makes us ignore the flaws of this movie.
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Nickelodeon bares its fangs
neji1072 March 2011
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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Zany, trippy, bizarre, unique, and perplexing. But it totally works.
diac2287 March 2011
After an extremely weak first quarter in the cinematic world full of remakes, re-dos, 3-D flicks and movies about gnomes (really…really?) we finally have something fresh, original, and quite trippy to kickoff 2011. Once again reaching into his Western roots, Gore Verbinski makes up for what he did to World's End and delivers one heck of an animated film. Rango is full of surprises: surprisingly violent, surprisingly smart, surprisingly full of western references left and right, and with a surprisingly incredible western score that matches that of Ennio Morricone (never thought I'd say that). If you can muster its sluggish start, extremely fast-pace humor and rather bizarre moments throughout, then you will thoroughly enjoy Rango and its Western mayhem. And who said the Western genre is dead....

Rango (Johnny Depp) is a chameleon that after a mishap inside his tank comes across a town full of desperation and hopelessness. With a little bit of luck and a lot of lying, Rango becomes sheriff of the town but runs into a lot of trouble when the water supply hits low and tensions start rising. The storyline is nothing new, but the script (Good work John Logan) is full of fresh ideas, fun action pieces, and a great assortment of characters. In the midst of the script lie so many homages and references to classic westerns you can make up one heck of a drinking game.

A strong factor into the fun of Rango is the excellent voice acting, which rivals that of Pixar's best casting work (See: The Incredibles and Finding Nemo). Johnny Depp is phenomenal in all his crazy roles, and his performance of the hilarious Rango is nothing short of brilliant. But, let's not forget the great work of Isla Fischer (as the lead female), Bill Nighy (as the sinister Rattlesnake Jake), and the great singing of the owl mariachi (Los Lobos). And speaking of singing, let's talk about music. Hans Zimmer was robbed when Inception didn't win Original Score, but he deserves even more praise with the score here. It is an incredible mix of guitar, strings, orchestra, and nods to masterful Morricone, and is hands-down the best score since Michael Giacchino's "Up." I am strongly contemplating buying the soundtrack if it's out in stores.

The three main reasons why Rango works: Johnny Depp, Hans Zimmer, and Gore Verbinski. Very few blockbuster directors have the zaniness and range of Verbinski; as his repertoire includes Pirates of the Caribbean (epic blockbuster), The Ring (horror), The Mexican (I still don't know...) and Mousehunt (underrated dark family comedy). His talents can be shown here as he interweaves strange dream sequences with unique action sequences and plenty of hilarious moments. This movie also doesn't hold back for the kiddies, as it has the language, adult dark humor, strong themes, and heavy violence of a good-ol' western. Just picture what were to happen if Chuck Jones directed a tamed Quentin Tarantino script. And Lord knows there is not enough Chuck Jones influence in the modern animated movie world.

Bottom Line: Rango works because of its fresh originality and its refusal to follow the clichéd rules of children animated flicks. It ditched the 3-D, ditched the watered-down tone we see all too much, while we experience a very unique take on Westerns while at the same time see plenty of odes and homages to them. The zany edge of classic Warner Brothers doesn't happen enough in this millennium (With Emperor's New Groove being the outstanding example) so its great whenever we see a Chuck Jones-style of entertainment. While the movie is quite gritty for a PG flick and some of its off-color content may throw you off, I am confident when I say that Rango is the first good flick of 2011. Once again Depp, great job. Your career is astounding and even underrated in critical acclaim standards. Zimmer, I think its time to start making an Oscar dedicated to you, because that was quite a musical trip. And Verbinski, I forgive you for World's End.
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Rango is a creative, dazzling, and funny tribute to classic spaghetti westerns, but it's definitely not a kid's movie.
Ryan_MYeah11 March 2011
A couple days ago, I started 2011 off on a solid note with The Adjustment Bureau, but that solid note has now risen to a brilliant note with the release of Gore Verbinski's Rango.

Johnny Deep provides the voice of the title character, a chameleon house pet who gets lost in the middle of the Mojave Desert, and through a series of effective fibs, as well as killing a lethal hawk by accident, winds up the sheriff of the town he wandered into known as Dirt, a town low on water supplies, and on the brink of total drought and dehydration. Rango decides to investigate the mystery surrounding the low supplies, and quite often bites off more than he can chew.

The direction by Gore Verbinski, who garners enthusiastic and terrific performances from his voice cast, is wonderful, and the screenplay by John Logan pays tribute to the classic spaghetti westerns of yesteryear, right down to pre gunfight stand offs, important events happening at high noon, and the decision to have a Mariachi band narrate, and make comment on the film's events. Sure, a couple scenes seem to overstay their welcome, but in spite of that one flaw, the film is fresh, and funny, and the film quite often got a good laugh from myself. I also loved visual references to characters played by Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

I must also praise the technical crew. This is the first animated feature designed by the legendary special effects company Industrial Light & Magic, and John Knoll does a good job at supervising the film's many grand, colorful and photo realistic images. I have just as much praise for the audio crew. Sound editor Addison Teague does a good job at handling classic western sound effects such as gunfire and galloping hooves, and Hans Zimmer (whose music score pays delightful homage to the scores of Ennio Morricone) does a great job at heightening the excitement and wit.

Before I sign off, I must make a final point. I'm normally not too vocal about censorship, but take the facts that the film is animated, and rated PG with a huge grain of salt, because Rango is NOT a kid's movie. The images are quite quirky, and sometimes even trippy, some of the subject material is rather violent and foul mouthed, and some of the jokes may fly way over kids' heads, but that's exactly why I think the film's so special. The film makers stuck to their guns, and didn't wimp out in order to get a bigger audience of children. It's a movie almost strictly for older viewers, and should be treated as such.

Needless to say, I loved Rango. I give it ***1/2 out of ****
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No Man Can Walk Out of His Own Story
claudio_carvalho28 April 2012
A family is crossing the desert by car with their lizard in an aquarium. The driver is forced to an abrupt movement to avoid an accident and the aquarium falls off the car on the road.

The female lizard Beans gives a ride to the lizard up to an old western town called Dirt and he goes to the bar expecting to drink water. The braggart lizard tells that he is a dangerous gunslinger called Rango and the impressed locals believe that Rango is a hero and invite him to be the sheriff.

Sooner Rango finds that water is missing in town and the Major has a suspicious behavior. But when the evil Rattlesnake Jake arrives in town, Rango assumes that he is a coward and quits his position. He walks to the road but the Spirit of the West convinces him to return and fight for those that had believed in him.

"Rango" is one of the funniest and most originals animations that I have recently seen with a parody to western movies and a tribute to Clint Eastwood, the stranger without a name, in "High Plains Drifter".

The voice and the way of speaking of Johnny Depp are also hilarious. The 2012 Oscar of Best Animated Feature Film of the Year is in good hands. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Rango"
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Great animation coupled with strong characters, a good story and an inspired score, there's a lot to love here.
Scannain_com3 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
8 years ago Gore Verbinski teamed up with Johnny Depp to make a movie that no-one in their right mind thought was going to be a success. Pirate movies were dead and buried and it took the monumental success of Verbinski and Depp's first endeavour to show that genre movies can work, if the source material is good enough. 8 years later Pirates 4 sails over the horizon, Verbinski has walked the plank following the disappointing story-telling of Pirates 2 and 3, and Depp has just made The Tourist. Suffice to say that the two of them could do with a hit right now, but is an animated western really the way to go…

Rango tells the story of a chameleon called, well we never actually find that out, who lives a solitary existence in a terrarium. Starved for companionship he survives the days by using his fertile imagination to act out plays and create scenarios utilising a clockwork fish and a decapitated doll. Suddenly he falls from a moving car and lands in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Seeking refuge he happens upon the old desert town of Dirt, a town populated with a cacophony of desert creatures living a meagre existence in the harsh environs. Using his anonymity he fashions himself as a gunslinger, tells a fantastical story of bravery and bravado and winds up becoming the local sheriff. It soon becomes clear however that all is not well in this quite little town and pretty soon Rango is going to be called into action.

The characters in Rango are magnificent. There's at least 20 different desert critters each with their own unique character and personality, each interesting and worthy of their own moment in the sun. That in itself is a wondrous feat of film-making. The star of the show is of course the Johnny Depp voiced Rango. Depp imbues Rango with a vibrancy, urgency and nagging self-doubt of a guy who knows his entire persona is built on a crumbling deck-of-cards. Depp inhabits the character, causing the audience to forget that he's providing the voice and allowing Rango to become the star. Isla Fisher does a strong quirky turn as Beans, her accent is spot on and her comic sensibility very much to the forefront. Ned Beatty does a villain well, his Lotso in Toy Story 3 was perhaps better but he's still solid here. Bill Nighy's Rattlesnake Jake is the prototypical Western bad-guy and Nighy gives a suitably evil performance. As good as Depp is though there is one better, Abigail Breslin as Priscilla. Sombre, morose, sweet and more than a little scary her proclamations and utterations give weight and substance to the plight of this poor town. She is the essence of why Rango must win out. Oh and the Mariachi band are brilliant.

The animation is superb. It's fluid and dynamic and shows that 2D is not quite dead yet when it comes to drawing a story. Visually sumptuous the Roger Deakins' inspired cinematography captures the west in a manner that compares favourably to Deakins own Oscar nominated turn in True Grit. This movie marks Industrial Light and Magic's first foray into animation, and if they can continue in this mould Pixar is about to get serious competition. There's an aerial assault/chase sequence here that is simply something special. John Logan's script is peppered with movie references and homages that offer something to hardcore cinema-goers and yet never distract from the tale. Sure the plot itself could be the basis of any Western but there's dialogue and discourse enough to elevate it from the dust and allow Verbinski a platform for greatness. And then there's Hans Zimmer's score… Referencing Ennio Morricone's classic work and adding a twist the soundtrack here will have you humming long after you leave the cinema.

Great animation coupled with strong characters, a good story and an inspired score, there's a lot to love here. Even with some minor flaws too trivial to mention Rango is top-class entertainment.
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Rango Can't Quite Please Everybody
stcanard513 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Now, I love Western stories and I've been able to enjoy ridiculous kids movies (i.e. Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs), and when my family decided to all go to Rango today (since we could go for free), I went along because hey, I was probably going to like it. However, I would've walked out on it about 1/4 of the way through if my mother let me.

The writing and general flow of story seemed way too forced for me to actually get into it. It reminded me of the Miramax edit of "Thief and the Cobbler"...like Rango was a movie that tried to appeal to all sorts of people but became a disordered, clumpy mess. There were numerous things that didn't belong in the movie or seemed to be there just to pad time. And I know EXACTLY what you're going to say; "It's just a kid's movie." No, it wasn't, since numerous characters die on screen without warning (their deaths sometimes played as a joke), "damn" and "hell" are said numerous times, there's lots of violence through either beatings, burning or guns, and an odd reoccurring religious theme. The scene with a talking roadkill armadillo was just disturbing. Basically, Rango accidentally winds up in a little Western village, rises to the top by lying, causes a conflict through stupid actions, and saves the day by cultivating violence.

What bothered me the most was a crow character - a big guy in a poncho with long braids and broken English - whom Rango repeatedly called an "Indian" and was asked if he was going to "listen to spirits or commune with the buffalo", that line verbatim. The character himself was a good guy, but the other characters' treatment of him was racist and genuinely unsettling.

I'll give the movie some credit and point out that the visuals were absolutely spectacular, including Rango's dream sequence early on in the film. Abigail Breslin's character was particularly enjoyable. There were brief throwbacks to Clint Eastwood and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", easily the most well-done bits. My parents absolutely enjoyed this film for its aesthetic effects, while my younger siblings and I were bored with the story. I hated how certain bits of the script were too advanced, including a dragged-out bit about prostate exams, resulting in a confused look from my little sister.

All this movie gave me was a huge need to watch Leiji Matsumoto's "Gun Frontier". I'm pretty much a kid, and I was genuinely bored or disturbed by what this movie had to give me. Go watch a kid-safe classic Western movie with your children if they absolutely NEED to see something like this.
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Great animation + funny characters + bad scenario = boring movie
bidiot8 March 2011
The first half of this movie is OK. There is some action going, animation is nice, wild west rocks, you meet new characters and have high expectations. But, after a while, it all gets 100% predictable and boring. Basically, it transforms into standard: Good Hero fights his complexes to help Other Stupid Cowards and defeat Bad Hero. Children around you start crying, you yawn and fun ends. Well, there is still hope, so you are not leaving the movie room, expecting to have at least some fun. Time passes, you fight your boredom, Good Hero fights his personal problems, still no fun. You continue thinking about leaving, but curiosity wins and you decide to wait until the end in hope that, maybe, the movie will have not an ordinary ending... Nope, hope dies last and I'm glad I will not meet Rango again.
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Possibly the most enjoyable film of the 2011
I always had mixed feeling about the filmography of Gore Verbinsky (I think that "The Ring" and the Trilogy of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" were decent, entertaining pop-corn flicks) On the other side, I thought that "The Mexican", "Mousehunt" and "The Weather Man" were awful films, lacking of any artistic or entertaining value.

However, I must recognize that he did a great work this time. "Rango" is not only one of the best animated flicks that I've seen in the recent years, but also, one of the most enjoyable movies from the recent times. It is fresh, original, and fascinating, being completely different to all the CGI movies that came in the previous years.

It works incredibly well as a spoof/homage of the spaghetti Western, combining the classic elements of the genre with the very special touch that is present in all the movies of Verbinsky (Yes, even the worse ones) It is incredibly weird, but also it is extremely funny and clever at the same time.

Personally, I loved the character designs: Some people find them "ugly", but the "ugliness" of the characters is done in a beautiful, stylish way: All of them have a unique, strange appearance that makes them appealing and fascinating.

The level of detail and the atmosphere of this film are simply magnificent; every single frame of this film it's a like a work of art, a incredibly extravaganza where Gore Verbinsky let his imagination run wild...But the most incredible thing is that he find a way to make this wild ride something enjoyable and entertaining.

"Rango" is the best movie of Gore Verbinsky. It is his most personal work, taking the best elements of all his previous movies, finding the greatness.

I think that in a few years, this movie will be considered the "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" of this decade. After seeing "Rango", I'm convinced that a new classic is born.

10/10 (I would give it eleven stars if I could)
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GNDN (Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing)
CaptRon-210 March 2011
This was a movie I wanted to like (I really did) but it just never came together and fell into the pit of average. The character development never gets past Rango so the rest of the cast is nothing more than minor support roles. Villain's are numerous but no one really stands out and it leaves you feeling like a repeat of Spiderman III, one hero, three villains, drifting story.

One of the key ingredient to a successful animation is relatable characters. With Rango, the characters are so ugly that you find yourself not caring if the desert or something else swallows them up. Relating to them is next to impossible as they are too foreign to be relative.

The story is about finding yourself, being a hero, finding faith, not giving up, knowing your friends, and being a fast-talker. There might have been more but with so many moments it was impossible know what this story really wanted to be. It is far better to create a simple story and add depth than to throw all your ideas on the table and try to paste them into parallel story lines that make sense.

It might make a good rental for the kids although very young ones might be frightened by the snake scenes but its not worth movie ticket priced. Credit to ILM for trying but their story writing has a long way too go.
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A disappointment
EvanHamilton5 April 2011
STORY: 8.6/10

VISUAL: 7.9/10

ACTING: 9.9/10

HUMOR: 4/10


First of all, I must give it some credit, as, well, it was a pretty good film. Many of my friends loved it.

The film was directed by Gore Verbinski, and I praise much of his work for Pirates of the Carribian. I've read that he says himself that 'Rango is not a kids film - it just happens to have earned a PG rating'. With this in mind, I was glad to expect something as grand as pirates with a great story, great action, great ideas, and GOOD humor as opposed to senseless jokes to get the kids laughing.

Well, when I saw it, it DID INDEED seem like a kid's film. Many things were unrealistic, and just overall pointless. The singing owls were annoying, and BEANS, Isla Fisher's character, put me to sleep and was annoying herself.

The film would go on and on, my rating dropping every minute. When I left the theater, I was at a 5/10. A disappointment for Gore Verbinski.

HOWEVER: if it were not a Gore Verbinski film, and perhaps a film of a young, average kids film director, I would greatly praise it and give it a 8/10. For a Verbinski film, it's 5/10. For a film in general, I'd say a 6/10.

Also, it'd be best to be an adult when you watch this, as there are many parodies of films the kids definitely can't see yet. However, the 'kid' quality of it pulls down the adult enjoyment, leaving the film for a half kid, half man type person.

I recommend you see it, as you might like it. Just be aware of what you are looking for.


Hans Zimmer's score is brilliant! Purchase his 'Rango Suite'!
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Not Funny
fadikh11 March 2011
I read a lot of good reviews about this movie and i went with high expectations, but i got out from the theater disappointed.

I'm no a movie critic, i'm just someone who wants to enjoy a movie. Rango, being an animated movie and with the picture showing him with one eye ball bigger than the other, gives the impression of being a funny movie. The jokes in Rango do not make the adult audience laugh, most of them are targeted for children, but ironically, this movie is not for children either, because the story is too complicated for them.

It is true that the animations are great, but we have seen this before. Great animation would be enough to make a movie if it is some new technique or technology like avatar or toy story.

In Summary, kids will not understand this movie. Adults will not find it entertaining.
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Not a kids movie, not as good as everyone else thinks (spoilers)
rklot26 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
My kids (ages 7 & 9) wanted to see this, so I took them. The first 1/2 to 2/3rds of the movie was good, then it went wacko. There were a lot of other movie references, none of which any kids would get. That's OK, it reminded me of the old Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons with the same 'over the kids heads' jokes.

The animation was good, and the storyline was alright for a while. But when Rango leaves town in disgrace, it all goes to hell. He encounters the Spirit of the West, in the guise of an old Clint Eastwood with Oscar statuettes in the back of his golf cart, using a metal detector in the middle of the desert. Problem #1 - WTF? Problem #2 - SACRILEGE! The mayor is obviously going to be the bad guy, but somehow Rango sees a vision of the future - Las Vegas is using up all of the water. But wait, it's not really the future, because Rango was dropped out of a terrarium from the back of a car in present day! So why is the town like the old west anyway? Did I miss a time warp when I left to take my daughter to the bathroom for two minutes? The whole is it the future, present, or past thing just doesn't work, especially in a movie marketed towards children. My kids didn't understand any of that. Luckily it went so far over their heads that they didn't bother asking about it.

At least it had the typical happy ending, and my kids liked it OK. I think that they should have decided up front what they wanted this movie to be - for adults or kids. They tried to make it for both, but failed.
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The film rides high on an abundance of charm, provided by its inventive and textured visuals
Likes_Ninjas9027 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This animated feature is set in the Wild West and focuses on a chameleon (voiced by Johnny Depp). This little creature considers himself an actor and tries to put on performances with inanimate objects in his glass tank. After somehow breaking out, he's left to contend with the perils of the desert. Escaping the dangers of a hawk, the chameleon takes refuge with another lizard named Beans (Isla Fisher) who is heading back to her town of Dirt. When he arrives there himself, he finds that the town is continuously suspicious of outsiders. This is primarily because the town's water supplies are so low. There's barely enough to last for the next six days. To prove himself to his sceptics, the chameleon pretends to be a fierce outlaw, telling tales about his heroics. Winning the respect of the people, the chameleon calls himself Rango and is made the sheriff of Dirt. But the ambiguity surrounding Dirt's Mayor (Ned Beatty) and his stranglehold on the remaining water supply remains.

Rango compensates for some familiar tropes and situations with a superior visual style and an expressive voice cast. Gore Verbinski's film is foremost a parody of the Western genre and it borrows heavily from the Chevy Chase spoof iThree Amigos! That film, a take on The Magnificent Seven itself, was also about a group of actors who entered a village and were mistaken for real gunslingers. I suspect there's a more contemporary political message running throughout Rango though. The town of Dirt lives off the idea of hope for a better future. But for a sheriff promising stability, Rango is reliably destructive and irresponsible, failing to keep order. Then there's the town's necessity for a precious resource, overshadowed by a tyrannic prospector. These political undertones are contained in a relatively foreseeable and familiar narrative, working with a common idea of so many animated pictures that the smallest person can make a difference. Nonetheless, the film rides high on an abundance of charm, provided by its inventive and textured visuals.

The tone of the film remains light and playful but the visuals distinguish themselves from highly saturated pictures like Tangled and Toy Story 3, with grittier palettes. The arid, sunburnt planes are naturally fitting for a Western and the film compliments this hardened tone with equally dark character models too. There's more of an edge to the design of these characters because many of them are halfway between being anthropomorphic and more grotesque creatures. Abigail Breslin's Priscilla is for example a walking and talking rat. But she's also dressed like a school girl, with plaits, not unlike Hailee Steinfeld's character from True Grit. It's particularly funny how they resemble token characters from the Western genre too. It gives a unique but also more unsettling feel to the town, fitting of Rango's experience as an outsider. Adults will enjoy picking up on these genre references.

Thankfully, the film is also regularly witty, courtesy of a funny screenplay script by John Logan. The slapstick action, moving from elaborate set pieces to more subtle visual gags, is equally humorous and beautiful, slickly controlled by Verbinski, working from his experience on the Pirates films. The voice cast is even more impressive, an enthusiastic line-up that gives life to even the smallest character. Johnny Depp, Abigail Breslin, Bill Nighy as a very creepy snake, Ray Winstone and many others are excellent. A lot of publicity has been given to the preparation of the voice work, specifically using the voice actors to act out the scenes themselves. Given the near-perfection of how Depp captures Rango's clumsiness, I would say that this technique has been a great success in drawing the actors closer to the scenarios and providing them with a greater understanding of their characters mannerisms.
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Simply Awful
themagdas19 March 2011
Unfortunately, we were so disappointed in Rango. The trailers looked great, but were the only decent parts of the movie. Actually, when they were shown in context to the entire film, weren't that funny either.

We were surprised at the darkness of the movie, the violence, the horrible story line and the pathetic script. Most of the dialog was convoluted, contrived and complicated.

The kids are the best indicator of how good the movie was. Most of the kids in the theater were scared, bored or sad during most of the film. There was a little girl in the theater with her grandparents who were holding their hands over her eyes during the violent parts.

We give it an F!
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Giving a two is being generous.... Odd, and the comedy was the only good thing about it
gallaghergirl094 March 2011
This movie, to say the least, is the strangest thing I have ever seen. I went to see this movie, expecting a cute, fun, kid movie. I was sadly disappointed.

There are no fun kid aspects of this movie besides the comedy. The content is at times a little... well, not exactly "vulgar" but at the same time not kid-friendly. There are uses of the d-word and the h-word, and scary face offs at times. There was drinking, and smoking.

At times I could not figure out WHAT IN THE WORLD was going on. I think that some parts were too western for me and just turned odd. I can't describe it in words.

There WERE some funny aspects, like the owls, and some occasional jokes. Though, that was as far as the comedy went, really.

Take my advice, run to "The Other Side of the Street" and AVOID this movie. I did not find it very much entertaining. If Tangled were still in theaters, seeing that would ALMOST make up for the two hours I wasted in Paramount's trash of a movie.
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strangebullit657 March 2011
This could possibly be one of the worst movies I've ever seen. The story was, well.....not there ! The images were fine, but it had no direction. I thought it was made for children but.... The swearing was unnecessary. I'm guessing there was a political message. My children fell asleep. My wife and I were ready to leave in the middle of the show. I'm disappointed that it involved Depp. I'm sure Depp will be fine.I would NOT recommend this movie to anyone.I'm having a tough time saying anything else but the rules state that you have to have ten lines to get your review to post....so.... DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS SHOW !
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Disappointed and offended
Efferevescent705 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
On a positive note the animation details are absolutely amazing. The technology gets better and more impressive with every film.

I wanted to like this movie. I took my 12 year old son and 10 year old daughter. I was embarrassed and uncomfortable that I chose this movie. I cannot believe how blatantly sexist this film was. The main character has a "friend" that is a headless/topless Barbie doll. I realize that a Barbie doll is a doll but the writers make it sexual when they have Rango put his arm around it and ask if the breasts are fake or real. Breasts are prominent through-out the movie. There is a character (I think a frog) that has large breasts heaving out of her dress. This character adds nothing to the story line. It is very odd to have gratuitous sexuality in a family film. Early on a character offers his sister in exchange for safety. There are numerous inappropriate jokes. They ask if he "misses his mother's mangoes?" Without telling the story there is another "adult" joke that says that she just swallowed "Plan B."

There are cuss words that do not add any value to the storyline. I truly wish that writers would consider their audience will include impressionable children. Rango lies to everyone about being a tough guy. The spirit if the west said you "started it now you must finish it." It is not very clear what message they want us to walk away with. I suppose you could say the philosophy of Rango is "fake it until you make it."
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Why is this movie doing so well?
SeanDTheFilmMaker6 March 2011
Because there is literally nothing playing right now. After checking all theaters, even second run theaters, it was either this movie or Harry potter which was at a second run theater and we just missed the 5 O'clock showing. I really don't like harry potter but I love the characters and production value, dialog is just really weird. But then, having no alternative, and determine to see "SOMETHING" we saw this one, well the first 40 minutes of it before getting our money back.Keep in mind even rich people get bored in Oregon as there isn't too much to do on a Friday night but eat, drink, and see a movie.....that's it.

Now don't get me wrong, even "I am Bruce" which is a corniest B movie ever was still a lot of fun to watch but the first thought that came to mind about this movie was, "HUH?" My girlfriend and I looked around and the rest of the audience were shifting in there seat and not a single laugh at any of the "funny parts". Which 40 minutes into you'd think there would be at least one but nothing really good about it. Now granted maybe it would pick up in another hour or two but lets admit it, compare this to Pixar's "Up" Which had you Crying and Laughing, then crying, then laughing again all with in a 10 minute span. These guys are no Pixar, and this movie isn't even rentable. I'm not even sure why it is going for an academy award except for its special effects which is a lame way of putting it. Cause it makes it seem like its going there for best picture, best performance, best script or something which they were all bad. The effects were great, but who cares? South park is just a step above as bad as ANIME but its funny, sick and demented but funny anyway. Once again people are not focusing on what really counts in entertainment, "Is it entertaining?"

And like the others it was gross, slightly on the racist side I mean why did everything in the desert have to have a Hispanic accent? Yeah sure its a western but in some of the best westerns you don't have everyone speaking with that accent. I wouldn't be too surprised if the Hispanic community would have had a problem with every grungy nasty animal had to be of Hispanic origin.

So we went home and watched a Pixar movie.
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pbtj6 March 2011
the Worst "kids" movie I think I have ever seen - would never have taken kids to this had I known it was so inappropriate (language, violence,sexism, etc.). There are a lot of jokes that will go over kids' heads but why are they there in the first place? My kids found it boring and confusing, except when it was scary and violent! I cannot understand the good buzz this movie has gotten - we my daughter and I walked out about half way through. This is one hour of my life I will never get back!

Just awful.

Stay away!
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