Opening Friday March 4 Rango is Industrial Light and Magic’s first fully animated movie . Written by John Logan, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp.
Like The Fantastic Mr Fox, “Rango” is helmed by a cineaste Gore Verbinski who has worked in live actions, and it takes advantage from his heightened awareness of visual responses to the piece –Verbinski assisted on True Grit’s DP Roger Deakins as a visual consultant, and it shows.
Furthermore, the picture certainly showed more of the influence of the Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western. More likely that it is caused by that before he made the Pirates of the Caribbean movies with Depp, Verbinski made The Mexican, an adventure with Leone’s gestures. But with the decorative style of the spaghettis, the film also turns back to the romantic comedy of Buster Keaton in Go West. There’s a funny sequence in which Rango accidentally sets fire to a bully by the name of Bad Bill (Ray Winstone) that Keaton would have been proud of.
The flick also starring Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin and a lot of famed character actors, following the story of Rango (Depp), a pet chameleon lost in the desert who lies his way out of trouble to become the sheriff of a western town. Things go well since he uses fortune, good sense, and improvisational skills to fake his way, but when somebody steals the town’s water supply, Rango is forced to become a true real hero.
Briefly, you get an impressive, outstanding modern-day western — one that just comes about to be animated. Director Verbinski’s camera moves quickly, surprisingly, but always letting you see what’s going on. For what he brings to the movie is a live action eye. As mentioned before, there’s never a feeling that the movie started like an animated film, rather a film to which animation best suited.
What develops is a luminously written story that fits to a conventional three-act structure, but uses that to its benefit. Its story twists are logical, but still surprising, while the tension gradually builds up as Rango finds out to a greater extent.
At its best, it’s possibly as ambitious as anything that Pixar has put on the screen. If you really, really hate westerns, then you may find a reason to dislike this. And for all the others, a family-friendly, PG-rated film, even projected in 2D, makes superior use of dimension than many stereoscopy 3D cartoons.