Rango movie review - Aussieboyreviews


If you’re looking for the most Western-ish movie for kids, it’s hard to beat Rango. Families may only be entertained by this movie however, as it’s the kind of film adults may find more in than kids.


Rango is an ordinary pet chameleon who aspires to be the hero of his own story. When he happens to wind up in the drought-stricken town of Dirt, he takes the position of the new sheriff and attempts to prove himself by protecting the citizens.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Gore Verbinski
Cast: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Ned Beatty, Bill Nighy, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Timothy Olyphant
Writer: John Logan
Release Date (Australia): 10 March 2011
Runtime: 107 minutes/1h 47m
Genre: Animation, Western, Adventure
Country: USA
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (PG)

The film contains mild thematic elements relating to death, drought, suicide and execution by hanging. There are also perilous situations and a sense of threat inflicted by menacing characters, mild crude humour and scary scenes.

Violence (PG)

The film contains animated action sequences, threat of guns and depictions of gunfire.

Coarse Language (G)

The film contains infrequent use of the words “hell”, “damn” and includes a cut-off term including the words “son of a…”.

Nudity (G)

The breasts of a mannequin doll’s torso are viewed several times.

Sex (G)

The film contains instances of sexual innuendo that is very mild in impact.

mpaa rating

PG (for rude humor, language, action and smoking)

Aussie boy's thoughts

This Western hero’s journey in the form of an animation created for adults picks up guaranteeing humour, entertainment and adventure. But it’s around the final act where this movie takes a turn in a completely different direction… and not necessarily for the better. Rango is an adult-themed adventure that somehow manages to fall into the ‘family’ movie genre, concerned with an overshadowing theme of identity crisis.

Gore Verbinski directs the film formed from a screenplay by John Logan, featuring a chameleon voiced by Johnny Depp. Aspiring to be the hero of his own story, he winds up in the drought-stricken town of Dirt, where he takes the position of the new sheriff and attempts to prove himself by protecting the citizens of the town. This is the basic plot synopsis the first two thirds of the film comply with. Shortly after that, it seems to lead down a path of convolution… and that’s not the case just from the children’s perspective.

What’s obvious has already been said, but Johnny Depp is nothing less than perfect for the voicing role of this chameleon and this movie may have some of the best animation work you’ll have seen in a while. As we know from Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Depp has the ability to really shape-shift his voice to suit the appearance and personality of the character, which is what he does for Rango. The animation is absolutely stunning; and that’s not meant to be stated as a description. The visual blessings will capture your full attention, even if that means that the clear dialogue becomes inaudible for a few seconds. No words can describe how brilliant the animation is, especially since it’s in a Western setting.

Before parents take their kids to see this movie, there are some big pointers they’ll need to know about. Whilst age-appropriate for the later primary school and early middle school grades, this is a movie with some very serious themes that are explored very well, as well as a movie with plenty of scary scenes. It’s fairly entertaining for the first half, before it dissolves into something new during the second half, eventually becoming a very different project that definitely stands out as unfamiliar to most family films. The direction Rango took was pretty good, but the film could’ve built onto this sudden change before it got to that point. For a film with great jokes for adults, detailed animation, exceptional vocal performances and nice music to match the Western setting, it kind of turned into a disappointment before it ended. However, you should definitely see it if you’re into Western movies.

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