What happens when a pet lizard’s terrarium accidentally falls out of a car on the Arizona highway?
No, this isn’t the beginning of an upcoming joke in OWL’s “Last Laugh” section. It’s the plot of the new movie, Rango. I caught the flick at a preview screening earlier this week, and I’m here to share some thoughts.
So! When Rango finds himself stranded on the side of the road he heads into the desert looking for water. Before long, the wacky chameleon bluffs his way into a job as sheriff of Dirt, a small town full of small animals who are all in the same situation — there’s a mysterious water shortage in Dirt, and Rango needs to help them get to the bottom of it.
But here’s the big question: can Rango play the part of sheriff well enough to get Dirt out of trouble, or will his sudden appearance only make things worse? You’ll have to see the flick to find out!
Here are a few observations about the movie:
1) It looks fantastic. I mean, when you add up the elements (mainly green and brown creatures + light brown desert landscape + beaten-up brown buildings), it seems impossible that this movie would end up looking as great as it does. But make no mistake: it looks great! The animated characters are expressive and the world has tons of realism and depth without needing 3-D, which means we all save when we hit the theatre. Bonus!
2) It’s got a great voice cast. Rango is voiced by Johnny Depp (who you’ll remember from Alice in Wonderland, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, etc.), and he does a great job bringing life to a strange, funny, totally-out-there character. The rest of the voice actors are no slouches, either. Some of the dialogue for this was recorded on an actual movie set so the actors could work with each other, as opposed to in a sound booth. Seems like that technique paid off!
3) It’s maybe just a little more for adults than it is for kids. Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of humour and action, it’s got a big heart, and I think some kids will be crazy for it. But there are three things that make this movie not a perfect fit for all younger audiences: lots of gunplay, visual references to movies most kids have never seen, and some complex, wordy dialogue. It’s rated PG (just in case you’re curious!).
Overall, I liked Rango. If you’re a fan of westerns — or just interested in them — this might be the movie for you.
What do you think, OWL readers? Does Rango sound like something you want to see? Skip? Let me know in the comments below!