Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rango (Gore Verbinski, 2011) Review

We got an Oscar winner here, folks! Rango won itself the Academy Award for Best Animated Film. That's a good sign. It's been a while since Nickelodeon has made a good film so, with the director of Pirates of the Carribean taking the role of director, let's take a look at the animated western, Rango.

Rango (Johnny Depp) is a pet chameleon who has no experience of the outside world. After his tank is thrown from the back of his owner's car, Rango is left out in the middle of nowhere to fend for himself. He meets an Armadillo, Roadkill (Alfred Molina) who tells Rango about a town. He finds the town of Dirt, run by the Mayor Tortoise John (Ned Beaty). Dirt is in fear of a hawk that attacks the town regularly. After an attack with Rango around, Rango accidentally kills the hawk and wins the respect of Dirt. There are other characters along the way such as Beans (Isla Fisher) and Rattlesnake Jake (Bill Nighy)

It's safe to say the biggest appeal of Rango is the art style. Normally films about anthropomorphic animals have some kind of cartooney style. Rango ignores this and goes straight for a realistic style. All the animals shown are real animals (specific animals too) that rendered realistically. Sure it's weird at first and you may find yourself asking "What the hell is that thing?" but all in all, it looks good and it's a nice change of pace that differentiates itself from other animated films.

One of the winning aspects (yes, winning) is how it is clearly trying to bring back the western genre. The only film i've seen recently that is also trying to bring back westerns is the remake of True Grit. There are lots of Western tropes and conventions shown throughout including a shootout and a duel. By the end of the film it feels like a proper Western and that is what it is trying to be.

Rango just misses out on a perfect score because there are problems. What film doesn't? Rango's problems lie in some...unnessesary scenes. There are a lot of moments and scenes that just feel off and weren't particularly needed in the film.

Rango is a great animated film that actually deserved the Acadamy Award (although Puss In Boots and Kung Fu Panda 2 were excellent). It is by no means a kids film. Really. It isn't. That is one of the high points, how non-politically correct it is.

A well crafted animated film that really isn't for kids. That's a plus!

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