Daniel's Review of Rango
Personal Score: 10/10
Gore Verbinski, director of the highly successful and entertaining Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, takes a route many directors wouldn't even consider and directs this sly, witty, and highly original approach to animation in the film Rango. This film may not be a Pixar title, but its quality is certainly up there with them.
Johhny Depp is the voice of Rango, a lizard with a flair for theatrics who is trying to figure out who he is. He doesn't even have a name until he comes to the little town of Dirt, an animated environmental masterpiece pulled straight from some of the great western films of years past. There he manages to fool the locals into thinking he is a dangerous gunslinger named Rango (a name he gets from a cactus juice bottle). He tells tales of how he slew a group of seven outlaws with a single bullet and about how he comes from the Far West. This ruse is quickly in jeopardy until he somehow manages to kill a hawk which often terrorizes the town. After this he is made sheriff.
The majority of the tale revolves around Rango's antics as sheriff and his attempts to help bring water back to the town of Dirt, a resource that all need but are dangerously short on. The story here doesn't break much new ground, but the way it's told is very original for an animated feature. It is also worth noting (though most have pointed this out already) that the majority of the humor in this movie is very adult-oriented. Not that this takes away from anything in this film, but it is worth considering around the smaller folk.
Rango is an excellent animated feature that will be tough to dethrone next Oscar season. In fact, as far as CG-animated films go, I haven't seen a better looking one to date (sorry Pixar). The voice talent is outstanding, particularly Johnny Depp and Bill Nighy. Bill Nighy's Rattlesnake Jake is certainly worth mention here, because I cannot remember an animated movie villain this good in a long time. Seeing as how this film isn't afraid of killing off characters, Rattlesnake Jake is a villain who seems truly dangerous to the characters we're rooting for.
Rango is an excellent movie, one of the best of 2011. Everything from the characters to the story to the beauty of the animation is outstanding. Even if you don't care for animated films, Rango is definitely a title one shouldn't miss.