I just saw this last night and I got to say that I was not overly impressed. When I saw the trailer a while back, it looked like it would be a fun film to watch, but when I actually saw it, it was a bit of a let down. Let me say that some of the film was visually stunning such as the scene where Rango is running in the desert inside a glass bottle. I had a hard time believing that Jake the Snake would all of the sudden give up on hurting Rango and go after the mayor of the town. Also, it had some references to films like Chinatown with the water coming from I guess what looks to be Las Vegas and the mayor mentioning that when you control the water, you control the town. And there are also some references to Apocalypse Now with the Ride of the Valkyries homage where these flying animals, I think they are bats, and the animals riding them, I think they are moles, are swooping down on Rango and his group as they head back to town with a jug of water. Then there are the references to Sergio Leone Spaghetti westerns with the Ennio Morricone type music with the extreme close ups of the characters eyes. I think it’s alright to have homages to other films, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the story of the film you are watching. I can’t remember exactly where, but I thought where there should have been humor in a certain scene, it became too serious, and when it should have been humorous in other scenes, it is too serious. I didn’t look at my watch, but I thought the film dragged a bit and the momentum of the film stopped from time to time. My friend said Ebert really liked this film a lot, but for me, I cannot say the same. Out of four stars, I’d give it 2 1/2, being a marginal thumbs down.
In terms of adult appeal I gave it a 5/10, but I consider it a ‘good kids movie’.
It’s very visually inventive, and it manages to sneak in social commentary the way Wall-E does. But unlike Wall-E, it falls right in the center of ‘kids movie story conventions’. I thought the dream sequence derailed the film, because it had humans talking to animals. I enjoyed that the mayor’s plot to take over the town was virtually identical to the plot to take over the town in Chinatown, and I liked the scene where Rango sees where the water is really going. In general I liked the references to older films that were obviously only there for the adults.
If it were an adult film I would have taken issue with Jake switching sides so quickly, but since it’s a kids film, I accept it readily. In a way they were forced to have it end that way. You had to have the mayor get his comeuppance, and you had to have Jake leave, but you couldn’t have the protagonist intentionally kill somebody. There weren’t any humans around to give the villain his due like in Toy Story 3, so the only out was to have Jake turn on the mayor.
Thought the story was alright.
Normally I don’t do this but… I went to see the animation. How they illustrated the different textures seemed interesting.
I kind of wish they would have played up the fact that Rango was a chameleon more.
What kind of animal was Beans supposed to be? Was she a reptile with ringlet hair?
If you’re 6-12 years old, I’ve give this or 6 or 7 out of 10.
For somebody 18+ it’s probably a 2 or 3.
There wasn’t a single thing in this movie I haven’t already seen 1000 times in better movies.
Nothing new in the story, agreed, but I’ll not dismiss it for the beautiful animation and the fact that I admired the lack of ‘cuteness’ in a kid’s movie. None of the characters are remotely attractive—it’s Sergio Leone-esque in that regard. Kudos for that.