Rango is a unique film, and definitely not one I would classify as a kid flick. Between the darker themes and the smart and satirical dialog, it’s not something that a young audience is going to fully appreciate. A brief moment in the beginning of the film effortlessly draws the comparison to an animated Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which sets a pretty accurate tone for the rest of the film.
If you’re not familiar with the film, Rango tells the story of a dramatic little chameleon who has theater in his heart and no comprehension of the real world outside his little aquarium. After literally hitting a bump in the road, Rango finds himself thrust into the Nevada desert and surrounded by a slightly different take on the Wild Wild West. After days of walking, he finds himself in the town of Dirt. It’s your classic western town with your classic western villains. The commodity here isn’t money though, it’s water. The town’s people are desperate for hydration and are fearful that they won’t survive without it. Rango finally has the chance to live out one of his fantasies, to truly be a hero. Throughout the film, Rango struggles with finding his own identity and living up to the expectations of the residents of Dirt. And as if it was a charming, yet dark, Pixar film, you can’t help but be won over Rango.
Visually, the film in stunning. If you’re a movie fan that enjoys watching fire and water animations – then you’ll be impressed with how great everything looks. In fact, it’s probably the most impressive part of the film – and makes it worth a watch even if you’re not interested in the story. But Rango does manage to find something for everyone as it pays homage to great moments in pop culture. From Django to Chinatown, Rango borrows heavily from great movies of the past. Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blazing Saddles… I could keep going. It’s a challenge to the viewer to keep up with all the classics that get shout-outs during the 111 minutes.
Overall, it’s the best animated film of the year so far. It’s refreshing to see an animated movie that is so clever and not afraid to reach beyond a younger demographic. And while it may be predictable in parts (as we always know how these films will end), it’s still a smart and feel-good film that is perfect for any summer movie night!
Special features include an extended version which adds an additional 4 minutes tot he film along with a never-seen-before ending along with 10 deleted scenes.
Official Site: http://www.rangomovie.com/
Review By: Emma Loggins