Last night while I was watching Rango, I felt myself putting an honest effort into really enjoying the experience. I haven’t read any other reviews because I feel that is bad form for a film critic. It makes it difficult to concentrate on one’s own thoughts and feelings. I did, however, see that my guy – Roger Ebert – gave Rango four stars and a standing ovation. This is troubling, as I feel that four stars is a generous rating for this one.
Let me first say that just because the movie has the Nickelodeon name attached to it does not mean it is meant for children. Like the great Wall-E, this movie is one that appears to be marketed for children and adults alike, but is really for the older crowd. Whenever I make this judgement, I imagine my niece sitting next to me in the movie theater. Would she enjoy the film? Not Rango.
Although the four-letter words don’t get more extreme than H-E-double hockey sticks and one “damn” thrown in, the peppering of “hell” throughout the film appeared to be abundant. This is fine for my big girl ears, but I would have felt uncomfortable had my niece been there.
I suspect some will say that the film is not marketed for the younger demographic. I beg to differ. Not only is it a cartoon, but it is a Nickelodeon film. These two things coupled with the fact that all of the previews show cutesy scenes with little cartoon creatures say to me that this movie will be kid friendly.
I don’t want to harp on this much longer, but there are a few scenes in which the movie is even scary. I think that PG rating could definitely be bumped up to a PG-13. Not to mention all of the political aspects of the film. Kids aren’t going to get that stuff! Corrupt leaders and a seedy underbelly lead to many jokes that children will not get.
Perhaps I’m just a fuddy-duddy.
However, if you are an adult, you might really enjoy this movie. It has its laugh out loud moments. There are classic Depp moments as well. An homage to a former Depp film that was completely unexpected came across very well. Certain Captain Jack Sparrow characteristics were also present. “That’s interesting…”
Basically, Rango is the story of a little chameleon voiced by Johnny Depp who hangs out with a headless, naked Barbie torso with a missing arm and a wind-up goldfish. He knows nothing of desert living until he is thrust into it. In a little town called Dirt, Rango must save the town from a drought and find himself.
It was nice to see a strong female role in the film, though in the end she still needed rescuing. Isla Fisher is barely recognizable in voice as Beans, the love interest to Rango. Also unrecognizable was the fantastic Bill Nighy whom I love dearly most of the time, but Rattlesnake Jake is one mean dude. Little Abigail Breslin (Signs, Little Miss Sunshine) voices Priscilla.
The cast is great, the plot is good, and the movie over all is decent. I could have done without the owl mariachi band, but I suppose they served their purpose.