Monday, March 14, 2011

Movie review: Rango

There are, in my opinion, three great westerns: Blazing Saddles, Three Amigos, and now Rango. Obviously, I have a particular taste.

The main story is inspired by the old fairy tale "The Brave Little Tailor" about a tailor who kills seven flies with one blow but is recruited for the king's guard due to them thinking he killed seven people. In this movie Rango the pet chameleon is separated from his family and lost in the desert. He makes his way to a town that is suffering from a drought. He starts telling stories to earn the fear of the town goons and is soon made sheriff. Rango has to protect the town from area villains and solve the mystery of what's happening to the water.

"Rango" has a different sense of humor than you might expect if you're a regular watcher of Pixar-like movies. It has a good dose of old Warner Brothers cartoons (Bugs Bunny and the like) and Monty Python. There's lots of throw away lines that are thrown out and moved on from while you're still processing it. It mixes slapstick and dry humor. And the spirit of the west is awesome.

It works if you don't think about it too much. If you do you start to see major plot points that seem to have belonged to earlier drafts of the movie. You see how they might have tried to give it a message but messed it up. Is the villain really responsible or are the humans? Will the villain's plan work or is he starting another Cargo Cult?

Rango is made up to resemble the Hunter S. Thompson-type character Raoul Duke in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". He has the same floral shirt. He has the same actor for his voice. When Rango hits a windshield the people in the car are supposed to be the central characters from "Fear and Loathing...". When the bats come out you can't help but think "We can't stop here. This is bat country."

I will get this on DVD and may see it in theaters again.

No comments: