Rango, a lost pet chameleon voiced by Johnny Depp, stumbles on a beat-up old western town whose residents (various birds, bugs, and rodents) are worried about their dwindling water supply, which is lorded over by an old mayor and protected by a group of mean critters. So he proclaims himself a hero gunfighter and becomes sheriff. The animated movie is loaded with references – to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Apocalypse Now, and especially Chinatown – sure to go over the heads of kids. It has a darker streak than other recent CGI extravaganzas, with plenty of death, desperation, and drinking. There’s also a deliberate sense of storytelling that slows down the movie occasionally. But the animation looks great, focusing on details that are usually steamrolled over in CGI. By concentrating on story and character instead of overstuffing its frames with empty flash, Rango doesn’t look at all like the Megaminds you’re used to. It kind of drags, but there’s a certain appeal to this old-fashioned adventure.
Director: Gore Verbinski
Writer: John Logan, Gore Verbinski and James Byrkit
Producer: John B. Carls, Graham King and Gore Verbinski
Cast: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, Timothy Olyphant, Ned Beatty and Stephen Root