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#106. Rango - Review

Rango posterWhy did the armadillo cross the road? Isn’t it obvious? No? How about the lizard, why did he cross the road? Well, in the case of Rango, the titular reptile in Gore Verbinski’s newest animated film, that is exactly what he needs to figure out. Rango is a richly inspired film that promises greatness, but unfortunately falls back on old family film platitudes to get the job done.

When aquarium-grown Rango is accidently discarded by his owners in the middle of (an oddly busy) desert highway, the lizard involuntarily sets off on an adventure to not only survive, but also find himself in the process. The 1st act of this film is pretty brilliant, setting up a unique animated existential escapade that would pin its protagonist to the cutting board in an effort to dissect every aspect of his scaly id. The humor is subtle and hilarious, whimsically firing jokes and references quicker than your grandad’s sawed-off. Regrettably, once our hero arrives in the aptly named town of Dirt, an arid soon-to-be ghost town whose dwindling water source promises death, Rango becomes less Cuckoo’s Nest meets Mad Max and more Chinatown meets Gulliver’s Travels. While still entertaining, I was never able to shake the feeling of disappointment I had considering how exceptionally distinct Rango could have been.

Rango film

Still, this clever western is worth your buck, and I would vote to see it on the big screen. This is Industrial Light and Magic’s (ILM) first animated feature, and I was beyond impressed. Rango is gorgeous, even setting a bar far above that company with the emoting lamp. There is a craftsmanship at work in this film that must be seen, and I cannot wait to watch it on Blu-ray in a few months.

If anyone has seen Rango, let me know what you thought, especially if you think I was too hard on it. If you liked this review than please click the “share” button below and link the site so we can try and get a conversation going!


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