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

 This comparison image shown on Reddit annotated the objects with vehicles from the movies.

What Star Wars fans say is going on in Abu Dhabi’s desert

We may still not know exactly what The National caught pictures of in the Abu Dhabi desert last week, but the online community has had plenty to say. Here are some of the best bits.

 Jennifer Grout will compete against seven other celebrities in Your Face Sounds Familiar. Joseph Eid / AFP

Jennifer Grout on competing in the new show Your Face Sounds Familiar and her rise to fame

Jennifer Grout is set to wow Arab audiences once again in the new MBC talent show Your Face Sounds Familiar. Saeed Saeed speaks to the American about her success story

 From left to right: Greg Churchouse, Roy Stride and Peter Ellard of Scouting For Girls. Ian Gavan / Getty Images

Sandance returns in May

Sandance is heading back to Dubai in May with a line-up that includes Arrested Development, Scouting for Girls, the Pet Shop Boys and Fatboy Slim, plus the Saudi DJ Omar Basaad and local acts.

 Jedi Master Yoda in 'Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith'. Lucasfilm / Twentieth Century Fox / AP

Star Wars shooting in Abu Dhabi rumours gain traction

What started out on Sunday as an optimistic rumour that Star Wars Episode 7 is set to shoot in Abu Dhabi is seemingly gathering traction as the week progresses.

 A boy waters plants in the yard of a restaurant in the Colombian village of Aracataca. Yellow butterflies make an apperance in the book. Eitan Abramovich / AFP photo

Mourning and memories in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s languid hometown

Mourning and memories in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s hometown of Aracataca, Columbia.

 Shah Rukh Khan plays a shot during a friendly match between the members of the support and administrative staff of Royal Challengers Bangalore and his Kolkata Knight Riders cricket team. Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP

When the worlds of Bollywood and cricket collide

With the first game of the Indian Premier League beginning today in the UAE, we explore the league’s Bollywood connections, which are as glitzy as they are controversial.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National