Rated: PG

Distributed By:

Paramount Pictures

Directed by:

Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean)

Starring:

Voices of Johnny Depp as Rango; Isla Fisher as Beans; Abigail Breslin as Priscilla; Ned Beatty as Mayor; Bill Nighy as Rattlesnake Jake

Adapted From:

Plugged In Online

Rango

Rango has a tough time blending in. He may have been born with the skin of a chameleon, but he was destined to stand out as an actor. In his home terrarium, he often stages his own plays—starring him, of course. Then an accident lands the scaly thespian in the middle of the blazing Mojave Desert in the little dried-up town of Dirt. And before the rodent townsfolk can eat him for an afternoon snack, he jumps into character and convinces them he's a fearless gunslinger.

When Rango takes out a town-terrifying hawk, they make him sheriff. If he can keep this lie up long enough, it might just all work out. Then outlaw Rattlesnake Jake enters the scene and everyone looks to Rango. But it turns out Rango has more gumption than even he thought he had.

Although he started out lying about who he is to save his skin, he eventually comes to really care for the residents of Dirt and puts his life on the line for their sakes. Rango is told, "It's the deeds that make the man" and, "No man can walk out on his own story"—wisdom that helps him confront his circumstances and persevere.

Rango sports plenty of offensive language and a number of toilet humor gags. Plus, there's quite a bit of thumping violence played for laughs. And because of the realistic animation, it comes across as pretty graphic (for a PG cartoon, for sure). Rango lies repeatedly for almost always very selfish reasons. Rango does ride to the rescue with a few appealing qualities in its saddlebag. There’s certainly a sense of Wild West adventure. At the end of the day, though, it is a predictable Spaghetti Western tale with too much toilet humor and very little emotional connection.

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