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Rango Movie Review

Posted on Thursday, March 3 @ 08:21:14 PST by

One part Spaghetti Western, one part Fear & Loathing, one part Fallout: New Vegas, and almost all parts Chinatown, Rango is the unlikely adventure of a lizard who is thrust from his isolated tank into the merciless landscape of the Mojave Desert. His quest for water is immediate, a call to adventure to find sustenance and identity amidst the parched world. To survive, he relies on all he really has - a Hawaiian shirt and an innocent imagination - telling lies to the would-be believers in the town of Dirt of his famous exploits and death-defying kills. He is, through desperation and comparison, a lizard with no name.

But this is a family movie, a light-hearted romp filled with anthros, dream sequences, cactus juice, musical excerpts by an owl mariachi band, and what I can only describe as Americanized chocobos. The 3D skin textures, the natural lighting, and the blending of real-world photography into the CG environments are almost lush in their arid details. Rango's green skin serves as a figurative reminder of his inexperience and a heroic contrast to the desert. If water is religion, then the tap is gospel, and Rango wears the colorful text of life.

The tale is tall, the plot on the edge of expectation, tarnished only by a lack of true reflection and trial when Rango ultimately faces himself before the final act. His spiritual rebirth feels like it's given to him, prophetically or humorously - not earned by a test of courage but rather by the toss of suicidal luck. But apart from this minor blunder, Rango is a charming movie about the plights of the social chameleon, with enough childish jokes and adult humor to satisfy all audiences.

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