The Name's ... Rango!

Rango (2011)
A Review by Ben Hunter
5 Out of 5 Stars

"The name's ... Rango!"

A classic western tale filled with adventure and excitement! 

Rango fits into the story of, "an ordinary guy finds himself in extraordinary circumstances".   So we follow the story of a pet chameleon, Johnny Depp, who's always been wondering "who he truly is".  He gets lost from his family in route across the desert.  Then after wandering and meeting other interesting characters in the desert who point him to the nearest town, he meets the western like town citizens who see him as a sore thumb who clearly doesn't belong.  They ask the lizard who he is and he realizes that he can be anyone, but still wonders what the true answer really is.  So taking part of the name of one of the cactus juice bottles or the "liquor" bottles, "Rango" is born!

This is an amazing film that takes you on an exciting journey and adventure.  There's a lot of action and excitement, filled with funny moments as our hero is a silly character with a lot of personality and innocence.  The story takes us on an emotional journey as we discover when our hero discovers that we need to follow our heart and do what is right.  Finding out a lot more about ourselves bringing us that much closer to knowing "who we truly are".  So it's always good to see the arc of who it is that we're rooting for in a story; and Rango definitely goes through what he needs to go through, to find the answers he seeks in the beginning, to give us the audience a feeling of completion in this experience. 

All the points of this story aligned.  From the opening feelings of thought by our hero, to the events that lead him to the major dilemma of the story: a town that needed water and wanted to know why and by whom, to the classic gun slinger western show down in the end.  It really felt like the director, Gore Verbinski, and all the filmmakers involved in the creation of this film, really made sure that all the elements of an entertaining western were there, and boy was it exciting!  There was even that damsel in distress moment, horse and carriage chase scene, or the scene where your hero is trapped and we don't know how in the world he's going to escape ... exciting stuff!

My hat’s off, as always, to Hans Zimmer.  His musical score always puts you in the mood for the type of movie you're experiencing, not watching/viewing ... experiencing, and being entertained while learning!  He's done great work with Gore Verbinski before on the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films; and for each movie they do; Zimmer's music always does the job of helping you to fully experience the story.

Animation films are a different breed of storytelling.  When done in an amazing way as inRango, they can be an entertaining and fun experience for EVERYONE to enjoy!

It's a shame the film is only getting award recognition in animation categories.  It EASILY gives the year's best films a run for their money, as this one RIGHTFULLY earns a spot in the list of the year's best!  

Rango is one of 2011's early promises of a great film come true!

Family, 107 Minutes, PG
Written by: John Logan
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Cast: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Timothy Olyphant

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