Thursday, April 5, 2012

Movie Review: Rango

Rango (2011)

Director: Gore Verbinski
Producer: Gore Verbinski, Graham King, John B. Carls
Studio: Nickelodeon Movies, Blind Wink, GK Films, Industrial Light and Magic
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Release date:  March 4, 2011
Running time: 107 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Rating: PG

Official Site

An unnamed pet chameleon (Johnny Depp) becomes stranded in the Mojave Desert after his terrarium falls from his owners' car by accident. He meets an armadillo named Roadkill (Alfred Molina), who is seeking the mystical Spirit of the West and directs the parched chameleon to find water at a town called Dirt. While wandering the desert, he narrowly avoids being eaten by a red-tailed hawk and has a surreal nightmare before meeting the desert iguana Beans (Isla Fisher), a rancher's daughter, who takes the chameleon to Dirt, an Old West town populated by desert animals. (Source)

Movie Tags: Children & Family, Ages 8+, Family Adventure, Animated, Comedy, Goofy, Imaginative, Feel-good, Witty

Just because something is animated doesn't mean it's for kids!

Note: This is not a children's movie! I have no idea how this got a PG rating but it is not, in my opinion, appropriate for children. From it's adult theme, to the crude language, and dark humour.
Children may not understand some of the words, their meaning(s), and the general adult heavy theme, but it is not something they should be introduced to while not understanding.

Under the context of this being acceptable for kids 9+ I am shocked to see what they got away with. The entire movie trends a very thin line of suggestion. Never saying too much but lots of hinting. If you're old enough you'll pick up on it otherwise it will go right over your head, which is what bothered me the most, because of how often it happened.
Such as, right in the beginning there's a moment when Rango asks his headless barbie "Are those real?" Referring to her breasts while not stating where the comment was directed. Then there are moments with quite a bit of quick slick talkin' where a sly change of a word with one that sounds similar and you have a very adult joke on your hands. At least to those who are paying enough attention to catch on but most are left none the wiser. A few examples include; cojones, prostate (and entire joke followed the phrase 'prostate exam'), and mammogram.
Changing a word or two might leave children not noticing but I kept asking "Did they just say that?" I'll admit it's clever, it really is, but not when you label a movie for children.

The worst, I think was the fact the word damn was said once in a pretty intense scene, which I found to be fairly violent (the scene that is, with the cherry topping of a curse word). But then I was pretty horrified with how often they said hell. You say 'heck' with kids, at least that's what I think.

This movie also deals with quite a bit of killing, death, and general violence.

I seriously do not think kids should see this, the theme and humour is more for adults, and those who have a pretty off sense of humour at that.

Putting that aside as I am an adult, I actually enjoyed this movie. It's very strange, I'm not denying that, and it should be noted my sense of humour is all over the place, including being slightly off (at times), which this very much appeals to me in that regard
This movie off the wall, there is no other way to explain it! At first glance I was ready to write it off, walk away and be done, but a movie sharing friend (we recommended things back and forth) highly recommended it. On the recommendation of it being a good movie, I stuck it out. And I'm happy I did! I can't explain the change of opinion other than the movie really does have heart to it. You start to feel for the characters and wonder where everything is going.
I found myself chuckling at the jokes that appalled me at first, mostly based on how clever some of them really are.

If you're able to put up with some weirdness and look for clever joke you will enjoy this movie. It will take some time, and maybe a bit of digging, but this is a great movie.

I do not recommend for the faint of heart. This is a very strange movie that you might not be up for, but if you can give it a chance you may very well fall in love.

Recommended: Adults, broad sense of humour, open-minded.


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie too. My husband and I watch most of the Disney/Pixar movies. Most of them do have content that would go right over kids' heads, but I think that they're done that way so that the movies are equally enjoyable for the adults. Most of the time we end up disappointed when we watch a "grown-up" movie, and then revert back to the good old animated ones!

    1. I know exactly what you mean. Now that I'm older I pick up on jokes that I didn't catch when I was younger. It hasn't ruined any old loves for me, but it does make me wonder "What did I think that meant?" or "Did I not even think about it?"

      Most of the newer movies do end up being disappointing. I feel silly expecting them to be as good as the older ones. Although there are a few that stand above the rest, such as Tangled and The Muppets, in my opinion at least. ♥

  2. I haven't seen either Tangled or the Muppets yet, but thanks for the recommendations! It's been a while since we rented movies (thanks to Netflix) but we probably should before we lose another local video store =(

    1. Tangled is amazing, most people consider it to be the best thing Disney has produce in years. Reminding us that Disney still remembers where they're roots are.
      I can't explain how much I enjoyed The Muppets other than I don't see movies, ever. I see maybe ONE a year and I saw that one when it came out. And with my mother no less, we laughed, we cried, we were the nosiest ones in the audience (which again never happens). It's a little cheesy, a little silly, but it's THE MUPPETS what else do you really expect?! :)