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    March 23, 2011

    MOVIE REVIEW: RANGO

    RANGO (U)

    Genre: Action/Adventure/Animation
    Release Date: 10 March 2011
    Running Time: 108 minutes
    Distributor: Paramount Pictures (under United International Pictures)
    Director: Gore Verbinski
    Screenplay: John Logan based on story by Gore Verbinski, John Logan and James Brykit
    Starring: Johnny Depp, Isla Fischer, Abigail Breslin, Alfred molina, Bill Noghy, Timothy Olyphant

    Plot: Helmer Gore Verbinksi ("Pirates of the Caribbean") directs this family-oriented animated adventure starring the voice of Johnny Depp as a family pet who leaves the comfort of home to explore the outside world. John Logan ("The Aviator") provides the script for the Paramount Pictures production. Abigail Breslin, Isla Fisher, Alfred Molina, Ray Winstone, Harry Dean Stanton and Ned Beatty provide the voices for the rest of the cast.

    Review: With the remorse success of True Grit, in which it serves as the true door opener for audience to get closer to the Western-theme movie, this animation is sure to gain much benefits from that opportunity. Then, you have a high prolific director, producers and actors in this movie. High expectation, no? Rango is a film that many movie critics in the United States love but how does it really go down well with the audiences? It will be answered in a moment.


    In Rango, a pet chameleon (Johnny Depp) becomes accidentally stranded in the Nevada desert after his terrarium falls from his owner's car. After meeting an armadillo (Alfred Molina) who is seeking the mystical Spirit of the West, he narrowly avoids being eaten by a hawk. The next day, after having a surreal nightmare, he meets the lizard Beans (Isla Fisher), a rancher's daughter, who takes him to Dirt, an Old West town populated by desert animals. Dirt is in crisis of their own, as the most valuable assets in the town, water is quickly diminishing.

    At the saloon, the chameleon, using bravado and improvisation to fit in, presents himself as Rango, a tough drifter. He quickly runs afoul of outlaw Bad Bill (Ray Winstone), narrowly avoiding a shootout when the hawk returns, scaring Bill. The hawk chases Rango until by luck Rango kills the predator by crushing it under an empty water tower he's accidentally made collapse. In response, Mayor Tortoise John (Ned Beatty) appoints Rango the new sheriff. A skeptical Beans demands Rango investigate the water problem while the townsfolk worry that the hawk was the only thing keeping gunslinger Rattlesnake Jake from returning to terrorize them.

    Here comes the review. It is easy to pin point the stuffs you would probably like in Rango. But first, I would like to congratulate director Gore Verbinski for making Rango a good animation to begin with. Trace his resume, you will find that Rango is his first animation ever! Using his own great Western-concept and acute visualization arts that he obtained through the years from working with some of the successful movies like Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and The Ring, Verbinski is able to bring all those necessary skills on the table. Rango brings in an effectively provoking, sensibly story and soul searching storyline. It centers around an identity crisis chameleon named Rango whom after stranded in the Mojave desert, becomes more aware to his own uncertainty on what he wants to be in the first place.


    The next best thing in Rango is Johnny Depp himself. The movie works so well with his acting in it and oh boy, it seems that no movie can works without him these days. I got some feedback that Depp is always good in weird characters - and for that I truly agree. Thirdly, the musical score by Hans Zimmer is amazing. I thought that the music plays a lot of significant into the movie by providing an ample entertainment to the ears and a great companion to the eyes. Some tracks like the Wilhelm Richard Wagner's Die Walkure (The Valkyrie) has been remixed and been glorified by Zimmer by fusing in with Mexican tunes. Yet again, no one should ever forget about the band of 'owls' el mariachi whom are very dedicated to narrate the story from the beginning till the end. Lastly, the fourth point is the magnificent use of CGIs particularly how each character looks alive and how some scenes, particular the bat chase, looks so fantastic.


    With all those good points, comes a not so pleasing moment. While Rango plays well with the general feel of the movie, not all its jokes work. It feels that at times, Rango is stretching things too far off the track by some stupid slapsticks; savvy but oddly silly. There are moments deemed unnecessary, particularly the part when Rango crosses the road without been hit by a single car looks pointlessly dragging. To put things pretty much in a shorter sentence, Rango is a movie that tries too hard to impress! Beyond the norms, Rango is not a normal kiddie movie. It is definitely not a movie for kids - Rattlesnake Jake is too scary to kids and some elements and choice of words do not seems appropriately to be used by kids.

    Rango is a smart movie for audience who wants something different. It is burst to life by a perfect musical score, enchanting CGIs and creatively visualized. Unfortunately, the movie at times tries so hard to impress but that do not work all the time. Parents guidance is necessary since Rango is not appropriately suitable for kids. Why is it rated U?

    THE RATING:
    Story: 4.0
    Casts: 4.0
    Cinematography: 4.0
    Effects: 4.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 16.0/20.0
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