Year of release: 2011
Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Stephen Root, Harry Dean Stanton, Timothy Olyphant, Ray Winstone, Ian Abercrombie
Genre: Comedy, Animation
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Synopsis:Gore Verbinski has made a name for himself with two largely successful franchises, "The Ring" and "The Pirates of the Caribbean". Following the disappointing "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End", "Rango" is a return to form, in a film that is fantastically well animated and that is a visual stunning experience.
The film follows the story of a domesticated chameleon, who due to an accident, finds himself lost in the middle of the Mojave desert. Rango, as he calls himself, finds a small town called Dirt, where all the creatures living there, are desperate for water. The mayor of the city, controls the city through water rations, but ultimately has other plans for it. Rango showing up and becoming the city's law, changes everything.
The film follows the traditional western genre, clearly utilizing the pattern of the Sergio Leone films with Clint Eastwood: the stranger without a name that comes to town to establish law. The film is also an ode to friendship and overcoming one's self doubts, something that is traditional in Disney films, but here is presented in the western context. The animation from Industrial Light and Magic is stunning, with the details of all the textures simply breathless. All the voices are fantastic, but Johnny Depp clearly relishes his role as Rango and imbues it with a lot of humor. This film is stunning in it's design, storytelling and animation. A gem!