“Rango” is an animated film about a lizard with theatrical ambitions who is forced out of his element and into a town called “Dirt” in the Mojave Desert. Once there, small lies become bigger and bigger and Rango has to save the day. But with a touch of bad luck and his true nature revealed, Rango’s spirit is truly tested. Will he redeem himself or let his new friends meet their doom?
Since this flick is animated, it may be a turn off to those older than age 12. However, its tongue-in-cheek humor and wealth of adult innuendos will leave mature audiences in stitches, and impressed.
With homage to “Fear and Loathing,” Clint Eastwood and practically any Western ever made, “Rango” tells a story that is timeless and makes us evaluate our true character.
After being forced out of the comfort of his terrarium, a lizard with an asymmetrical head and crooked neck finds himself in the town of Dirt with the help of Beans (Isla Fisher).
We never know the protagonist’s true name because he takes “Rango” from “Durango,” found on the bottle of cactus juice he drinks at the saloon. He concocts a story that makes him a hero in a town where water is in short supply. Once he kills the hawk (on accident) the townspeople sing his praises and make him the new town sheriff.
What the audience knows that the townspeople don’t is that Rango has no idea what he’s doing. Luck is always on his side when he pulls off a cover-up or tells another lie. When thieves steal what’s left of the water, it’s up to Rango and his posse (a group of hilarious misfits) to find them and take back what’s theirs.
When things don’t go Rango’s way, his true identity is revealed and he leaves town, leaving his new friends hopeless in the process. With a little help from “The Spirit of the West,” aka Clint Eastwood in a bizarre scene reminiscent of the all-white scene from “Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End,” (both “Pirates” and “Rango” are directed by Gore Verbinski) Rango finds the courage to right his wrong-doings.
The intimacies of the animation gives the film an added maturity. Look for detail in the characters’ clothes, their eyes and the shadows of the town. With high-quality animation and its adult humor, “Rango” is appealing to a wide audience.
The film’s wit, heart and humor dispels the notion that animated films are kids’ stuff.
Contact CU Independent Entertainment Editor Taylor Coughlin at Taylor.email@example.com.