Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Movie Review: Can "Rango" Tango?

First, let's start by saying it's absolutely amazing what they can do with animation these days!  Remember the cartoon days of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd?  Well, we've come a long way baby!

The newest film to set the bar for animation, Rango is a visual masterpiece of graphic design that is more than realistic.  Special effects company Industrial Light & Music created the CGI in their first feature animation...and boy did they deliver!  The beauty of the Wild West provides a perfect background for the unbelievable action sequences.  (The canyon chase scene is crazy cool!)

Ashley says thumb up "ishhh"
Folks, let face it:  We all know that it takes two to tango and Rango ain't nothing more than a pretty face when the film falls short of substance.  Featuring the voices of Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina and Harry Dean Stanton, the actors suited up in costume and sets to help get the feel of the Wild West for the production.

Rated PG, the story line is a little much for the children cartoons usually lure.  Plus it's hard to look at Rango in his Hawaiian shirt and not think Charlie Sheen.

Much like Sheen, Rango is all over the place...and not in a good TMZ sort of way.  Lacking the lead character suave, Rango is a pet chameleon who ends up lost in the desert.  His misadventures and theatrical personality position him as the new sheriff of a town called Dirt.  The rodent residents there are facing a terrible drought but are willing to drink the sand Rango spins as he talks his way into their existence.  His lack of development makes it hard to cheer for him as he just rolls with the punches, rather than strategically position himself for gain.

This movie is a film for Johnny Depp lovers in every sense.  With homages paid to Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas and a small clip of Rango as the infamous Jack Sparrow, fans (and their cartoon lovin' children) will naturally flock to Rango, but don't count on his quirky style to seal the deal on this one.

One thumbs halfway, One thumbs up!
As part of a new trio of judgment, our little movie group (Heather, Ashley & Eric) concluded "funny at times, great special effects/animating, but it was not an instant favorite."  Technical difficulties prevented us from expressing all those emotions properly on Heather's new film digital camera.  We can critique movies, but can't figure out how to snap the pics....stupid fancy-schmancy new camera!