Rango: Too Much Hunter S. Thompson, Not Enough Laughs

Details

Rango
Directed by Gore Verbinski
Paramount
Opens March 4

A rollicking, surreal, and existential kids' Western that worships at the altars of Sergio Leone, Hunter S. Thompson, and Chinatown, Rango drowns under the weight of discordant objectives and influences. With his crooked neck, bug eyes, and Hawaiian shirt, reptilian Rango (boisterously voiced by Johnny Depp) is a Ralph Steadman creation come to anxious anthropomorphic life. A lizard with delusions of dramatist grandeur, Rango is unceremoniously stranded in a simmering Nevada desert, eventually stumbling upon the drought-plagued frontier town of Dirt. Assuming the part of a lifetime, Rango feigns gunslinger grit and nabs himself the job of sheriff tasked with returning water to the thirsty citizenry—a heroic mission that director Gore Verbinski and Industrial Light & Magic (both working on their first fully animated features) visualize with inventive photorealistic cartoonishness. Rango's ultimate quest is a search for the self, which his saga suggests—via myriad Thompson references and meta-cinema twists, including run-ins with Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo, as well as the Man With No Name—is achievable through role-playing fiction. Yet for all its genre-bending cleverness and technical dexterity, Rango's overstuffed plot fails to consistently blend its brainy pretensions with its chase-and-slapstick family-film obligations. Like Dirt's H2O supply, laughs are scarce.

 
My Voice Nation Help
23 comments
Nothingschild
Nothingschild

Great movie had some dark themes at times but i enjoyed it this story is just one writers bad opinion...

SUBTLEEXplosion2002
SUBTLEEXplosion2002

This review couldn't be further from the truth. Great Movie! I'd give it a 7/10

Holly Rivers
Holly Rivers

I hated this movie. I found it boring and very predictable. Half the time I all I wanted was a bit of explanation. Why hadn't humans found Dirt? What was Rango called before he arrived in Dirt? Why did he want to be an actor? What was the reasoning behind Beans freezing up all the time? Why did we have to have those god damn birds coming and singing at us? Overall, I hated it. It was boring, predictable and confusing to say the least.

Cosmicgtr
Cosmicgtr

I just saw it. I thought it was very entertaining. A friend of mine wrote songs and sang the parts of the mariachi owls. proud of him.

Marco Eller
Marco Eller

i saw rango the other night and thought it was brilliant, with a lot of laughs, maybe not many outright belly laughs but i was chortling quite consistently throughout. i won't deny you your opinion, but i don't see how it had an overstuffed plot? chameleon leaves comfort zone, finds a town in a crisis, saves said town. it's a classic western story. though i must say that i wouldn't take kids to this film, a lot of the humour is much more adult. it was a wonderfully surreal, well-directed, funny animated film. i can't wait to get it on dvd and see it again

Badd Kitty
Badd Kitty

Very articulate and accurate review.

Kbozarth
Kbozarth

Very articulate and accurate review.

Guest
Guest

Sorry to say. I just came back from seeing this. For all the hype about it being a brave, new, different sort of movie, it was pretty flat, dull, and boring. it doesn't matter what story you tell or how you tell it, but if you don't care about the characters...you just don't care. I thought rango himself was a self referential actor, of all things, with no explanation as to why he was an actor, nor did it have anything to do with his personality, only everything to do with the plot. oddly enough, i found the turtle and the snake, and the moles to be the most interesting characters, because they had depth and reason (not bad guys entirely or very nuanced bad guys), but rango himself? my god, i found him to be whiny and a sad sack, where he would have played MUCH better as a borderline delusional, almost crazy individual. the fact that he was just a lonely actor who knows too much about acting is too self referential and took me too far out of it- it just would have been better to have him play out these things as if he actually believed them to be true, for some god awful reason we never need to know (like the fisher king without the explanation of how he got that way). if this story were replaced with real actors, not cgi animated lizards, parts of it would come off as ridiculously pitiful. I don't think the character of rango was very well thought out, things he did didn't seem like things a fully rounded character would do.

the first half hour was great, great, great (if only they edited out the actor lingo, a little alienating and pretentious...if he was a pet lizard, he would only know about things his owner would know, etc.), and then it runs out of steam when he gets to town, and it starts to get boring. he never really grows or overcomes anything throughout, except for the one moment where he learns to...believe in himself. which is about as rote as you can get in an animated feature. the backup players were great, great character design, didn't really care about rango as a character.

disappointed. might rent it again to see the first act. the reviewer was right. it's not that there weren't any laughs, the first 40 mins or so were great...it's just that it died off after that and became.......BORING. i just didn't care.

Plan-9-fos
Plan-9-fos

Rango was fabulous, and this critic needs to watch old Tom & Jerry cartoons...he's obviously too old school to appreciate this vibrant, and cerebral humor...I'm thinking even Bugs Bunny was too deep for this guy! (laughing wildly racing across the desert)

Cestraub
Cestraub

wow. He didnt say one bad thing about Hunter S Thompson. It drives me crazy when people read something, and then make stuff up about what the writer said. He was just saying how the film was stuffed full of these references, rather than what it should have been stuffed with, good jokes.

Guest
Guest

chase-and-slapstick family-film obligations

obligations? please, sir. step down. you who crave the familiar and safe, the non-new, the old hat...please. step down. you are they who would love later what you don't see clearly today.

your review also makes me more interested in seeing this. thankfully, for you, transformers will be out soon.

cheerio!

docplacer
docplacer

You must have watched this film depressed, hungry and in a vaccuum! When I saw it in a theatre filled with people across the age spectrum, we were laughing so hard people were having trouble breathing. Or are you one of those reviewers who sees everyone else is raving so you just have to be different? If you really couldn't see the humor and mesage in this spectacular piece of art, well, I can only feel sorry for you.

Clayamiel
Clayamiel

That would be "drought-plagued"; there weren't that many beer drinking scenes.

Mr. Hufflepuff
Mr. Hufflepuff

This review is overstuffed with thesaurus vomit. And why does this guy hate Hunter S Thompson so much? The film world could use a little more weirdness, especially in animated or family films. I'm looking forward to this.

The Gentleman
The Gentleman

This review in it's "brainy pretensions" actually makes the movie sound really good. I can't wait to see it!

Figrabbit
Figrabbit

this was a review? i thought it was just a plot summary.

Yer Funny Lookin
Yer Funny Lookin

the movie is absolutely incredible and this guy is an idiot. didn't realize that a movie could have so many things right about it, but not make you laugh enough, and therefore be a bad movie as a whole. idiot. i expect better from this once-proud publication.

Guest69
Guest69

That's it? If you're this lazy to write more about the movie, you surely are too lazy to understand half of it, that if you actually watched the movie. Your review deserves a big, red, old, juicy, ROTTEN tomato...

jiggles
jiggles

Your bad review of the movie made me want to see it more

hollynotsobright
hollynotsobright

How can ift be predictable if you can't understand it. Its a movie and an animation at that playing on the imagination of small children yet humoring and cunning to adults. If this is too much for you maybe you should stick with watching the lion king or will we have to explain to circle of life to you.CheersThe greatshark hunt

Superstarseven
Superstarseven

Holy crap man, you want everything spelled out for you? Use your imagination.

 

Now Showing

Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

Box Office Report

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!

Movie Trailers

Loading...