Rango (2011)

rango poster 2011 movie academy awards
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Good looking movie, fun references to other films

Story is a bit all over the place and not entirely kid friendly

Movie Info

Movie Name: Rango

Studio: Nickelodeon Movies

Genre(s): Animated/Action/Adventure/Comedy/Western/Family

Release Date(s): March 4, 2011

MPAA Rating: PG


Think we made a wrong turn somewhere

A chameleon (voiced by Johnny Depp) in the wrong place at the wrong time accidentally leaves his plush aquarium life and ends up stranded on a road in the desert, he finds himself mistaken as a cowboy in the Old West town of Dirt.  Naming himself Rango, Rango learns that Dirt is suffering from a mysterious lack of water.  With his lies leading him to appointed a lawman Rango, discovers he’s got to get water for the town, prove himself as a lawman, discover the location of the water, and find the meaning to his life.


You provide the action, we’ll provide the music

Directed by Gore Verbinski, Rango was well received on its release and a big box office success.  The movie blended lots of other Hollywood movies and referenced a lot of classic Westerns and other movies.  It has the voicing talents of Johnny Depp (Rango), Isla Fisher (Beans), Stephen Root (Doc), Bill Nighy (Rattlesnake Jake), Abigail Breslin (Priscilla), Alfred Molina (Roadkill), Harry Dean Stanton (Balthazar), Ray Winstone (Bad Bill), Timothy Olyphant (The Spirit of the West), and Ned Beatty (Tortoise John).  The movie won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Rango is rated PG and aimed at kids but really isn’t a kids movie.  there are a lot of crude jokes and references that will go over kids heads.  I always question why make a movie a “kids” movie when you want to entertain the adults more.  I don’t care if a movie is animated and for adults but don’t say it is a kids movie.  Frankly the plot is a bit confusing, and it does run a little long for most kids.  Rango was also criticized for having a lot of smoking (makes sense to me), but for some reason parents weren’t to keen on all the characters lighting up.


I will swallow your soul

What is fun about Rango is all the homages to popular movies.  Obviously there are a lot of references to Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns.  The Spirit of the West is a version of Clint Eastwood’s A Man with No Name and the credits resemble The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.  It is the other references to non-Westerns that are also fun.  Tortoise John and the water storyline is ripped right from Chinatown and the chase for the water bottle feels a lot like Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior).

Sometimes computer animated films like Rango rub me the wrong way.  We are suppose to be impressed by the cleverness of them and plot is sometimes left behind.  The plot of Rango is pretty generic and kind of all over the place at points.  It seems to get more focus at the end, but really, I feel the movie good but not great.  With its success I wouldn’t be shocked if we Rango 2 on the way.


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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