Review: Rango

Tuesday, March 1 by

Rango is so weird I can’t believe they got to make this movie. It’s a good kind of weird but I don’t know if it’s fun. It’s certainly difficult to make any sense of it, but you’ve got to appreciate that a crazy movie like this exists.

Rango (Johnny Depp) acts out scenes in his little aquarium, which is already weird because he seems to hear voices. He gets bounced out of a moving car into the desert, where armadillo roadkill and a cowgirl named Bean (Isla Fisher) lead him to a western frontier town inhabited by reptiles and rodents.

It feels like the film is finding its story as it goes along. Rango takes a long way of getting to this town. He ends up playing the role of the sheriff. Pretending to be tough actually makes him an authority. It gets around to addressing a water shortage, but no ideas for solving it. Even in the process of seeking a source of more water, Rango still takes time out to interact with a random drunken rooster or bank robbing moles.

It may be all some new wave way to deconstruct all animated quest movies and hero stories in general, let alone the western. We always get the outcast who finds a surrogate family and redeems himself. That sort of happens here, but more often the mob of talking animals just tries to out-weird each other. I think the rodent that shares he once found a human spine in his fecal matter wins. Or the bird with the arrow through his eye FOR THE ENTIRE MOVIE.I don’t remember another animated movie that incorporated hardcore gunplay. It’s like how Legend of the Guardians did 300 battles with owls, Rango really does Clint Eastwood with animals. Rango’s “Spirit of the West” vision even calls out The Man With No Name. Letting little Priscilla (Abigail Breslin) point a gun at herself is really irresponsible, in the weirdest, greatest way. I mean, a cartoon for kids pushes those boundaries and doesn’t care!

I might enjoy Rango more with the sound off, just watching the visual construction of cartoon antics like Rango’s vending machine hideout. Or the cave system that seems to cross The Goonies with Pirates of the Caribbean with a giant eye staring on the wall. It’s just so. Damn. Weird.

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