Writer: Syahida KamarudinWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“A Bug’s Life”, “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” & 1967’s series “Rango”
There is quite a predicament with "Rango". First of all, you have a character with a crisis of existence in a form of a chameleon with Johnny Depp's voice. Second, it might have been funnier if Asian audiences are well-versed with Western fiction. And third, it would be less distracting if Asian audiences are well-versed with the type of animals living in the desert of Nevada (cue Asian children asking their mother "Is that a lizard?" and expect the mother to answer something that is obviously not the one the child is looking for)
But despite all of that, Gore Verbinski ("Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise) does a good job in his first attempt at animation. All thanks to his venture with ILM - (a special effects company which also made its CGI debut with "Rango"), the movie displays wonderful and stunning visuals, especially the chase scene between the bat-riding shrews and Rango's posse that will remind some of the audience of the chasing scenes in 1939's "Stagecoach", 1940's "The Bank Dick" and even "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989).
The best part about "Rango" is the background score, from the cowboy-themed songs, el mariachi and to the creative Banjo-version of Wagner's famous composition of "Die Walkuhre". At times when the movie starts to get dull and dreary, the score serves as an element of entertainment itself - to distract you from noticing how some of the scenes are really unnecessary and trying too hard to be funny.
The voice-over casts are actually consisted of big names, from Isla Fisher as the lovely but slightly messed up desert iguana Beans, Ned Beatty as the mayor, Abigail Breslin as the lovable mouse Priscilla and also Harry Dean Stanton. As Roger Ebert once said, "No movie featuring Harry Dean Stanton in a supporting role can be altogether bad", and "Rango" is no exception. However, the decision to put only Johnny Depp's name on the poster is justified by the fact that he is the titular character and in a way, to stay true to old western movie posters (for example: "Clint Eastwood is Dirty Harry" or "Charleton Heston is Major Dundee")
Plot-wise, there is nothing special to be mentioned. The story of a nobody who is pretending to be somebody is a recycled theme already applied in existing animations such as "A Bug's Life", "Kungfu Panda" and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" among the few. The only thing that differentiates "Rango" from the others is its tribute to the type of films loved by all rednecks and fans of wild, wild west alike.Cinema Online, 02 March 2011