Rango turned out to be a pretty good movie.
In this discussion I will have to address two previous posts I made.
The first post is where I made a premature speculation about this film predicting it's going to be terrible, based on my disappointed reaction after a somewhat high expectation due to two names I came across when I first discovered this movie's existence:
1. Gore Verbinski as director, who has always put extreme care and detailed thought in all of his stories.
2. Industrial Light & Magic as the studio, being the forerunners of CGI and special effects, it is exciting to hear of them creating their first completely animated feature.
To me this is a big deal. A big enough deal to say that this could be a contender to Pixar. Then I saw the trailer.
And the groaning began.
Immediately I lost faith. It was a little early to tell, but I thought Gore Verbinski may have pulled a Zack Snyder and jumped the shark in quality. I had two main gripes with the trailer that deflated my hopes:
1. Choppy/snappy non-sequiter type of humour with no context.
2. Another god damn anthropomorphic 'arena'-based animal movie.
While the latter remains true, and rightly so (I'll explain later), the former thankfully stays behind in the trailer, and all its parts have actual context within the movie itself. It's not my place to complain of marketing tactics, as I'm sure the department knows what they're doing, but I found it a shame they had to appeal to the Dreamworks/Blue Sky (etc) crowd.
The second post is where my expectations remained high, due to the Verbinski/ILM factor, I still had a duty to see this film for what it's worth, and I'm glad I did. My expectations were met and I am ashamed I ever doubted Verbinski in the first place.
From an adult perspective one might say that the story is a bit too advanced for children - the target audience - and some jokes and references will go way over their little heads. I must contradict this and say a child could easily enjoy the story on their own level. I remember when I was a child I couldn't remember a thing about the actual story of any movie, as long as there were colourful characters and exciting moments, which Rango is not without.
Here is the simple version, fun for all the family:
A nameless chameleon is thrust out into the Nevada desert and finds his way into a small town called Dirt, occupied by various desert animals and live on a currency of water. The town is currently in a water crisis and the townfolk are bullied by a group of cronies who work for the mayor, who are in turn terrorised by a large eagle. The chameleon adopts a new heroic personality, using his own acting and story-telling aspirations, and calls himself "Rango". Through sheer luck he defeats the predatory eagle and the town rejoices, sending him to the mayor who assigns him as the new sheriff. When the last of the bank's supply of water is stolen, Rango and friends set out on a new adventure to discover the mysteries and secret plots of this town, uncover the dastardly schemes of the mayor and eventually face off against his greatest nemesis - "Jake" The Snake.
It sounds typical enough, but it's a bit more complicated than that. To explain how, I'll have to get techinical, and, well, that's all for another post, another day. 'Till next time.