Saturday, 5 March 2011

Johnny Depp is a domesticated chameleon who assumes the role of sheriff in a frontier town called Dirt populated by desert creatures.  'The Lizard' is a pet chameleon wearing a colorful Hawaiian shirt. This aspiring actor spends hours improvising scenes with the toys in his terrarium; but when he is accidentally tossed onto the side of the highway winding through the desert, he quickly learns that surviving in the wild is real drama.

Right from the start the first thing you will notice is how polished the animation is.  Industrial Light and Magic have really surpassed themselves with the way they have brought the world of Rango to life.  I have never seen animation like it.  The textures of each character and attention to detail is incredible even down to the cracks on the beaks of the owls.  Its a very colourful and being set in the desert its also a very bright movie. 

Each character has their own unique characteristics and captured perfectly.  Johnny Depp is simply perfect as Rango which was no easy task as his character takes on many different personalities. Isla Fisher took the part of Beans and again the voice acting is spot on.  You can tell the actors enjoyed themself bouncing off each others performance.  Director and co-writer Gore Verbinski brought the actors together on one sound stage and captured the chemistry between actors.  So simple you have to ask why it hasn't been done before?

Rango has a fast flowing and gripping story with Rango facing questions about finding his place in the world and a town that has a major water shortage.  It will keep you gripped throughout and something that is rare for a movie these days this movie does not dip at any time.  Not sure if its a coincidence but I rarely finish my drink when watching a movie in the cinema but this time I did.  With most of the movie showing characters craving water and the dry environment I think this was subliminal.  A testament to how good the animation is.

The soundtrack by Hans Zimmer was perfect and shows how wide Zimmer's range can be with seem less transitions from western to comedy to action.   Los Lobos are a well-known group that bring their NorteƱo style to the soundtrack with original recordings.

Overall a movie that can be enjoyed by both children and adults which previously has only been reserved for Pixar movies but it looks like finally the jumping lamp has got a rival which can only be a good thing.  We are in a golden age of animation and with ILM stepping up to the plate along side Pixar we have never had it so good.

By the way look out for a nod to the Star Wars movies.   See if you can spot the Tie-fighter in the movie.  (Clue:  It can be seen during the camp fire scene.  Blink and you miss it.)

Rob Wainfur for


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