Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Rango

The beauty of Rango lies in the story and a dialogue that manages to tip its stetson to all ages without kicking the saloon doors in.

Rango Director: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp
**** 

A mariachi band of owls sing the opening title track and lay down the silliness levels for what has to be one of the most imaginative and captivating animated films made since Toy Story blew the industry apart.

The title character is a Hawaiian shirt-wearing pet chameleon, voiced by Johnny Depp, whose life is turned upside down after he's accidentally flung from the back of his owner's car and into a dusty plain in the middle of nowhere.

The plot quickly becomes an epic modern-day Western, with Rango finding himself the centre of attention in a grubby, ramshackle town of furry gunslingers under threat of extinction.

While the animation and imagery are extraordinary, with the level of detail on Rango's face as impressive as anything from Pixar's studios, the beauty lies in the story and a dialogue that manages to tip its stetson to all ages without kicking the saloon doors in.

There are references to Blazing Saddles, Hunter S Thompson, Apocalypse Now and a whole host of Westerns, plus hallucinations, the indulgence of "bad habits" and countless other jokes that steer this firmly away from the flurry of family-friendly animations. "Is this heaven?" asks Rango, after making the daring odyssey to the other side of the motorway, to which he's told: "If it were, we'd be eating Poptarts with Kim Novak." Gore Verbinski may be famous for launching Depp's pirating crusades, but with Rango he's arguably given the actor one of his most memorable characters, and stories, to date

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National

Get involved with The National’s short-story competition

Writers have two weeks to craft a winning submission, under the title and theme "The Turning Point".

 It is believed that the desert-like planet of Tatooine is being recreated for Star Wars: Episode VII. Could that be where filming in the UAE comes in? Courtesy Lucasfilms

Could the force be with us? The search for Star Wars truth

On the hunt for the Star Wars: Episode VII set, which a growing number of people are sure is in Abu Dhabi, but no one can seem to find.

 With an estimated 18,000 comic and film fans having already paid a visit to this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con, organisers are hopeful they will have surpassed last year total, of 21,000, by its close. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai

Dubai's World Trade Center was awash with people visiting this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con. Here's some of our best pictures.

 Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, presents Quincy Jones with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award as the Admaf founder Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo applauds. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival.

A candid talk with Quincy Jones about the UAE, Lil Wayne and the Abu Dhabi Festival award

The Abu Dhabi Festival honoree Quincy Jones discusses his legendary career as a music producer, the return of Dubai Music Week and why he can’t handle the rapper Lil Wayne.

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Military Terminal on an RNZAF 757 from Sydney on April 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

In pictures: Will and Kate visit Australia and New Zealand

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge are on a tour Down Under for three weeks.

 A protester gives a victory sign during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo in November 2011. Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Street life: humanity’s future depends on ability to negotiate and sustain public space

Negotiating our ever more crowded cities and maintaining vibrant public spaces are among the major challenges facing humanity in the coming decades.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National