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Finally caught this on Netflix.
I thought it was alright, but I'm not really feeling the higher praise in here. The texture work was often spectacular, and most of the environments had a nice "dirty" look to them which suited the movie's atmosphere nicely. But honestly, I felt the character designs were generally kind of ugly. And not in the endearing way, but more like...slapped together almost.
Actually, this extends to a larger issue I had--Rango didn't craft a very convincing world for me. It sounds nitpicky, but things like the animals wearing clothes and being civilized in town, vs the desert creatures in the beginning acting much more instinctive (naked, hiding from predators, living under rocks instead of tiny buildings) was weirdly disconnecting. And it could've been played up in a "we're civilized, they aren't" way but it was just sort of left unexplained. Which wasn't the focus of the movie, of course, but it doesn't lend itself well to a cohesive world.
To make a comparison with Pixar, A Bug's Life (which most would agree is even one of the weaker Pixar movies) featured all manner of insects using tools and finding shelter, but it was all from stuff that would be readily accessible: leaves, blades of grass, seeds, dew droplets, and in the "city" part of their world, in discarded animal cracker boxes and tin cans. By comparison, Rango's characters wear tiny cloth outfits, smoke little cigars, wield tiny handguns and build little dusty towns that heavily resemble our own spaghetti westerns. I'm not really complaining about REALISM so much as CONSISTENCY--it's just kind of lazy to me to have a movie based around animals and not really use many of those animal attributes to creative effect (except in the beginning part of the desert). Sort of like how Shark Tale took the easy route too.
The story was also pretty uneven. Plotlines where a lie gets spun out of control tend to get tiresome to me, and it plays out pretty much how you expect--Rango does well for awhile due to dumb luck, but then the lie is exposed and things are at their worst before he returns and saves the day. The metaphysical elements of the movie weren't very effective for me either, from the armadillo guide's platitudes to the weirdly tongue-in-cheek Clint Eastwood guy at the end, and the living...tree things (?)...I dunno, guys. Again, felt kinda like a mishmash of ideas that didn't really coalesce.
That's not to say it was bad. Most of the writing was moderately entertaining, there were a few memorable characters (I enjoyed Rattlesnake Jake and Rango himself) and some of the action scenes were well-choreographed, even if there were way too many instances where Rango would go flying through the air and bounce off a million things before landing safely. Some of the humor was a bit on the lowbrow side of things, but so it goes when you're trying to keep the kids' interest too.
I dunno, I'd say it's kind of a 3/5 for me.
Hey, I caught this on 'Flix yesterday too.
Really, really enjoyed it. I'd go as far to say that it's some of the best CGI animation I've seen in a movie. Everything looked very organic and I wasn't thinking the whole time "these are computer-generated characters" like I do with many of these flicks. The cinematography was downright beautiful and the score was fucking fantastic. I laughed out loud quite a few times too, there were some great jokes. For a CGI film marketed towards kids, this is a really damn good movie. Probably gonna get the Blu-Ray someday.
This movie got me back into cinema-going. I was initially put off thinking it was a children's movie but it really delivered.
I might watch it again soon since it has been long enough.
I thought it was a very strong movie and a surprise considering its from the CGI animation genre. The protagonist was annoying at first but learned some hard lessons as an assumed hero of Dirt. The animation is absolutely breathtaking and the soundtrack well scored especially the banjo ensemble for Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries.
I also felt it was odd considering that the audience for CGI animations were mainly youngsters but Rango is certainly not for the kids with its dark imagery. I myself really like it all as I am also a big fan of the Clint Eastwood movies especially High Plains Drifter.
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