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Mar 11

Review: Rango

My guess is that Industrial Light & Magic, arguably the number one effects company in the world, took a look at all the animated films around at the moment and thought to themselves, “okay guys you’ve all had your fun, now it’s our turn.”

“Rango”, directed by “Pirates of the Caribbean” director Gore Verbinski, is a feast for the eyes. The textures on the characters are so real you feel like you can touch them. Water droplets so crystal clear and realistic you feel thirsty looking at them and sand so beautifully realised that you feel like you can run your toes through it, like you do at the beach.

This should be of no surprise that Industrial Light & Magic can do this, they practically created movie CG magic and have pushed the barrier on every film that they have worked on. From the first eye popping dinosaur in “Jurassic Park” to the ships and combat sequences in “Avatar”, ILM has proved itself over and over again in the effects world. “Rango” marks a first though, I believe that this is the first full length animated film from the effects house and what a debut it is.

But eye popping effects and CG can only get you so far. We have seen a host of CG films that look wonderful come and go because they are ultimately forgettable, you want examples? How about “The Polar Express”, “Beowulf” or “Happily N’Ever After”.

I’m glad to say that “Rango” delivers. It has many laugh out loud moments mixed with good old fashioned western style action. The animation, based on state of the art motion capture, moves the story along at a brisk pace and the story is a classic western.

A domesticated chameleon who is a bit of a thespian finds himself lost in the desert. When he comes upon the drought ridden town of Dirt he pretends to be Rango, a tough badass hero, to get accepted. As the film goes on he has to become the hero that he boasts to be to save the town and himself.

The voice talent, lead by Johnny Depp who is in fine form, is superb all round with other characters voiced by Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Stephen Root, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone and Timothy Olyphant doing one of the best Clint Eastwood impressions I have ever heard.

“Rango” is not a kid’s film, it is a family film in the truest form. That means that adults will get just as much from the film as the kids will. But a word of warning, it is not for small children. There are some very intense action sequences and some concepts that the young ones would not enjoy or understand, but I would have no hesitation in taking my 11 year old to see it.

I highly recommend “Rango” to everyone, you will have a great time in the town of Dirt.