Thursday, April 24

Rango

Johnny Depp has played a slew of characters, some remarkable while some are not. Rango falls in the middle. Despite winning the Oscars for Best Animated Film, Rango hasn't exactly made it to the ranks of timeless animation, nor has it gotten the acclaim similar to Dreamworks' How To Train Your Dragon. While it doesn't have the whimsical/magical/hopeful feel other animation movies do, Rango brings in an entertaining Western with interesting characters to go along with it.
Rango is a chameleon who got dropped from his terrarium in the middle of the desert. He meets an aardvark, who tells him that in order to find water, he must first find Dirt. Dirt turns out to be a little town run that is in the risk of dehydration, as water becomes scarce around their area. When Rango reinvents himself in the little town and kills a hawk by accident, he now becomes sheriff and is tasked with investing the disappearance of water. With the help of his posse, including his lady interest Beans, they track down the source of the town's misfortune while finding some trouble along the way.

I like how Rango was portrayed as a chameleon. Chameleons have the ability to change and adapt to their surroundings, and that was what he was able to do. He was able to reinvent himself to whomever he wanted to be, and he able to be just that. Rango wasn't just a chameleon who didn't have a clue in the world, he was able to liberate a town from a corrupt official, and that was just doing the job he was supposed to do. 

The movie also had interesting scenes, particularly the chase sequence and his profound moment. The chase sequence gave homage to Western movies, its influence clearly evident in the note of the film. Despite being in a modern world, it gets us transported back to the western days where money isn't the game, but more of reputation and the ability to do things. I particularly liked Rango's profound scene, as it was something I haven't seen in animation before. Yes, animation movies have profound moments, but in Rango's case, there was played out beautifully, with that tinge of humanity (which is why I thought the absence of whimsical/magical moments worked for this film). It really brought the life changing moment. 

I have no complains about the voice actors and animation. The animation was great, it felt like a Western movie so they really did get the appeal they were going for. I like the interesting choice of characters, and how they were not portrayed boldly and grand, but as average looking, like how people look like. The voice actors were superb and right for the part. I have to say, I really like Isla Fisher's accent work. She completely disguised her real voice, and was even able to do it with a Western drawl. 

Rango wasn't trying to be cute, or charming, or even heartwarming. It brought adventure, growth and smarts wrapped in a story disguised as an animation movie. It may not be like all the other good ones out there, but Rango did deserve its recognition. A good animation film that you shouldn't miss.


Final Word: It's an adventurous western animated film. Worth the watch.

Cast: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin
Director: Gore Verbinski
Year: 2011

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