Youth is wasted on the young. This old chestnut seems particularly true when you realise that the adults are laughing way more often than the kids watching “Rango”.
It’s a wonderful Western amination that pays homage to many iconic moments in that genre, while feeling fresh and original. Johnny Depp voices our chameleon hero, called to greatness by events after a freak road accident on a highway through the Mohave desert.
He is, literally, a chameleon. This is not a figurative descriptiion, but an animated reality.
After a few adventures, he is catapulted into being sheriff of a town called Dirt. Dirt is suffering from a water shortage.
There are excellent bad guys and good guys. Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Ned Beatty, Harry Dean Stanton and Ray Winstone stand out, but it’s a terrific ensemble and there isn’t a dud performance.
This is the first venture into animation by Industrial Light and Magic and Gore Verbinski brings the style and action of his “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, not to mention pulling in Depp and Nighy again. The air and land battles midway through are particularly winning.
You get a real sense of new cartoon animals along with the Old West stereotypes. Timothy Olyphant pays tribute to Clint Eastwood as the Spirit of the West. It would have been perfect to have Clint voicing this – but you can’t have everything.
I laughed out loud lots and often and never looked at my watch. My companion enjoyed it too. The script – by Verbinski, John Logan and James Ward Byrkit has great warmth and charm.
Romford’s Vue cinema is very comfortable and was full of children who behaved well. Can I have this audience for all the animated movies I see, please?
The water shortage plot is played for laughs, but still carries a serious message that is not heavy handed. There is a nice light touch here from director and script writers that pulls you through some wonderful action, while keeping your attention through the slower bits.
There is also the most creative use of a Barbie doll torso and a wind-up toy goldfish you will ever see.
I will be buying the DVD. “Rango” is very entertaining indeed.