Randy's Review: 'Rango'
A lizard, lost in the torturous heat of the Mojave, finds himself thrust into the middle of a town's quest for survival in "Rango," an animated - and by animated in today's lingo I mean computer generated - film featuring the voice talents of Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty and Alfred Molina.
Depp is a chameleon of the modern world, acting out dramas in his self-contained glass environment with his props, when through no fault of his own, he finds himself on the side of the road, with no water, under the heat of the blistering sun, somewhere between Southern California and Las Vegas. On the advice of worldly, and appropriately named, Roadkill (Molina), the lizard heads out into the barren wasteland in search of Dirt, a small town occupied by varmints of the old west.
Along the way, he encounters a hungry hawk looking to make him lunch. After outsmarting and escaping the hawk, he hooks up with Beans (Fisher), another lizard trying to make her way on the family ranch, after her father disappeared. She gives the chameleon a lift to Dirt - a town with not much to offer, except, well, dirt.
The town is in the middle of a horrible drought. Water is rationed and the townsfolk are leaving in search or greener, and wetter, pastures.
The stranger takes on the name Rango, and creates a bit of a history for himself. He portrays himself as a true gunslinger.
After a second encounter with the hawk, during the hawk is killed, Rango is named the town's new sheriff. And the actor plays it for all it's worth. Getting new duds, taking advantage of the town's limited luxuries, and enjoying more than his fair share of water, Rango thinks he has it made. Until he has to start being the law in the town.
Rango uncovers government corruption and vows to help the town's critters fix their water problems, facing off against the likes Rattlesnake Jake and others who are determined to see Dirt become a ghost town.
Depp is good one again as the quirky Rango. I would love to see footage of him doing the voice overs just to catch his facial expressions. Although he's a bit, just a bit, eccentric in his personal life, I find Depp to be one of the greatest character actors of this generation. The guy can play anything, as long as it isn't normal.
The story, is cute, not as many laughs as I expected, but cute. Kids will like it, but may become bored during moments with the whole search for water thing.
The animation is very strong and the movie isn't a bad way to kill a couple of hours.
Randy's Review: On a scale of 5 popcorn buckets, I give "Rango" 2 1/2. Add lots of butter. It wasn't as funny as I anticipated, but it's not bad either. With enough seasoning, even the stale parts can be enjoyable. MPAA Rating: PG for rude humor, language, action and smoking.