Rango (voiced by Johnny Depp) is an ordinary lizard who winds up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost in the Wild West. What happens then? Read the review of Rango for more.

Business rating: 1 star

Voice cast: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Alfred Molina.

What’s Good: The voice acting; the animation; a few action sequences.

What’s Bad: The story is ordinary; the emotions fail to touch the heart.

Verdict: Rango is a dull fare.

Loo break: Not really.

Watch or Not? Watch for Johnny Depp’s voice acting; don’t expect a great film.

Rango Review (Rango Movie Stills)

A Blind Wink and GK Films’ Rango is an animation film about a lizard who makes a drought-hit desert-town his home.

Rango (voice of Johnny Depp) is a domesticated lizard who finds himself alone in the middle of a desert when he is thrown off his owner’s car after a highway accident. Wandering through the desert, Rango arrives at a small, desolate and drought-hit town called Dirt. Finding the townsfolk disheartened, Rango starts spinning false stories of his valour. He also kills a predatory hawk by accident. The residents of Dirt, which include all sorts of desert animals, are mighty impressed by him. The mayor even appoints Rango as the Sheriff.

Rango realises that the town has only very little water left when he sees the ‘bank’, which stores an inverted water barrel. Thirsty and greedy, Rango takes up the charge of protecting the bank and asks the residents to remain calm. However, the very next day, the bank is found broken into, with all the water gone.

Rango and several of his new-found fans and supporters leave for the mighty desert to find the thieves but return empty-handed. Rango soon realises that the Mayor has probably been cheating the people as he is planning to build a ‘city of the future’. That the Mayor wants to force all the residents of Dirt to sell off their lands to him (Mayor). When Rango challenges the Mayor, the latter calls Jake, the rattlesnake, who exposes that Rango is really a coward and not a brave lizard as he claims. Dejected, Rango leaves town to commit suicide on the highway but he has a life-changing experience. He decides to return to Dirt to win all hearts and solve the water problem. Is Rango able to accomplish this mission? The climax of the film tells the rest.

Rango Review (Rango Movie Stills)

Story and Screenplay – Rango Review

John Logan, Gore Verbinski and James Ward Byrkit’s story is a typical Westerner and is not too original. However, the fact that desert animals have been personified makes the film an interesting watch for a thin section of the audience. The screenplay, written by John Logan, has enough twists and turns to keep the elite audience entertained. The humour (dialogues by John Logan) is subtle and will appeal mainly to the class audience. A few scenes, like a chase sequence where Rango and his troops flee from a marauding pack of desert animals, stand out. The action is also well-composed.

However, the script fails to touch the heart. The effect of Rango’s fear, disappointment and epiphany are lost in the audience as they happen automatically and there is no build-up to the same. Also, the truth about Rango spoils the fun when it is revealed. As such, the story, and the fact that it is told through animated animals, will make it less appealing for a majority of the Indian audiences.

Voice Cast Performances – Rango Review

Johnny Depp’s voice acting is perfect. He makes the wiry lizard come to life. Isla Fisher (as Beans), Abigail Breslin (as Priscilla), Ned Beatty (as Mayor), Alfred Molina (as Roadkill) and Bill Nighy (as Rattlesnake Jake) do good jobs.

Rango Review (Rango Movie Stills)

Direction, Animation and Music – Rango Review

Director Gore Verbinski (of Pirates Of The Caribbean fame) scores with an interesting narrative style but the fact remains that the film has sectional appeal only. The feature animation (by Industrial Light & Magic) is excellent. Hans Zimmer’s background score is good. Editing, by Craig Wood, is okay.

The Last Word
All in all, Rango makes for an average fare, at best. This will reflect on its box-office fate in India.

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