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Getting in touch with his inner reptile

Well, here we go again. Another animated picture, another huge group of stars and another attempt to write a semi-intelligent, ok that’s a stretch, a few legible sentences, hmmmm, ok let’s skip to the review.
Johnny Depp stars as Rango, a nerdy kind of lizard who finds himself suddenly dropped into some High Noon like western town without water.
Imagine the Geico Gekko meets Don Knotts and you’ve got some sense of what Johnny’s channeling here.
As luck and the writers would have it, Rango manages to kill the big old nasty hawk that terrorizes the town.
Ding, dong the hawk is dead and so they anoint their accidental hero by making him Sherrif.
In the grand tradition of There’s Something About Mary, Rango is accompanied by a minstrel band that provides a little foreshadowing and editorial comment. It’s all very tongue-in-cheek and great fun.
Of course, I’m 54 and I get the nuance. I’m not sure the 5-12 crowd is operating on the same level that I am. Then again, I’m not sure they aren’t.
Back to that later.
The animation is absolutely spectacular. It’s funny how the technology evolves.  Five years ago seems like a century now. There’s lots of old dry stuff and you can see right into the cracked creases of the turtle’s skin. Ya that’s important.
This film is directed by Gore Verbinski, who did the Pirates of the Caribbean films.
As with most current films there is a romantic interest for Rango. Isla Fisher voices Beans, who is less than impressed with Mr Rango, That’s ok, he’s impressed enough with himself to make up for that, and eventually her total lack of interest and respect bordering on contempt morphs into something just this side of apathy, which I’ve always considered a victory. Yes, once they give you that look of total disinterest you know you’re well on your way to meeting your next ex-girlfriend. As you know I have always been opposed to interspecies dating although I did ask ET if his mom was seeing anyone but these two crazy kids have real chemistry and maybe they can make an old cynic like me believe that a lizard and a oily toed ferret like bi pedal mouth breather can really make it work. I’m tearing up.
But I digress.
There are characters aplenty and lots of running gags. There’s also a slightly convoluted plot about the disappearing water and runaway development. Of course there’s greed aplenty and our hero’s moment of reckoning.
Who cares.
As Charlie Sheen would say if he reviewed this film
Animated. Kids movie. Duh 92 million. Winning.

Seriously, Rango is a lot of fun and it held my interest. I think a lot of the humor will sail well over the audiences’ head and it’s probably a little scary during some parts. I know I quivered under the seat like a little schoolboy during the part with the rattlesnake. That dude was nastier than a submarine on meatloaf Monday.
Someone pointed out to me that the dialogue seemed quite adult and if Rango has one flaw it’s that I think it missed its target audience by a bit. I’m not suggesting they should dumb it down but a few more toilet/outhouse jokes wouldn’t have killed them. Still and all it’s very entertaining and I’ve seen it a couple of times and it stands up. Brought to you by the same people who made Despicable Me  which was one of the best films of 2010 so what’s not to like?
I think Rango is a lot of fun and will become one of those instant classics over the next decade. As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson

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