Rango (2011) - M7.4/E8
I almost didn't see this movie. The only reason I ended up seeing it (and so soon) is that it is currently on Nexflix Instant! I'm glad I saw it too. Despite the negative reviews from others (including Uncle Orson), I really enjoyed this movie, though would not recommend it for young kids, even though it is an animated PG-rated film (again, no thanks to the MPAA for consistency).
[Slight Tangent: How do movies like Kung Fu Panda, Despicable Me, How to Train Your Dragon, and Tangled get mixed up with movies like Rango and Shrek (1,2,3,4) - all rated PG? Well, for one, there's never a clear line between one rating and another other than the types of swear words allowed, and that seems to be it. (I know Shrek didn't have much, if any, swearing; but the bathroom humor and off-color jokes were rampant).]
Rango has it's fair share of swearing for a PG-rated animated flick as well as some inappropriate comments for younger kids; but for those of us desensitized or mature enough, there's plenty to enjoy. The number one thing I loved about Rango was the musical score provided by the mariachi owls. I just might go out and buy the soundtrack. It's not filled with popular music, but a vivid latin/mariachi sound that really draws you into the story and brings you right a long for the "riiiiidde".
I struggle with writing about the morality of movies. People don't go to a movie to be educated or morally uplifted, they go to be entertained. Hopefully the people that actually read my posts are looking for more than entertainment, but are actually looking for ways to deepen their movie watching experience.
There's a big difference in being entertained by a sporting event or the circus and watching a movie or reading a book. The latter two have a lot of power to influence our lives for good or bad. The spectrum of evil and good in these media is so much greater than in any other venue for entertainment. This spectrum of Good and Evil is necessary to help us learn, it provides a laboratory where our thoughts can see the consequences of good/evil without us actually experiencing the consequences (providing the director/screen writer/author are competent enough to do this).
So, back from another tangent, there were a few quotes that really helped the movie make a lot of sense in my mind and really brought the "ride" to a point. Of course, it all comes when Rango has hit bottom; he's been revealed for who he really is, just a lonely lizard who never had any real friends and not a gun toting sheriff. He finally meets the Spirit of the West and is taught some important lessons that are not just trite platitudes, but really bring all the events of the story together.
The alabaster-carriage-driving Spirit says to Rango, "No man can walk out of his own story." Rango's experience in Dirt wasn't an imaginative experience, even though he was acting the majority of the time he was there. His actions and confidence touched real people and made real differences, it wasn't just one of his plays he rehearsed back in his lonely terrarium. He needed to realize that.
Secondly, Rango's told that the people saw what they needed to see. They needed a hero, so that's what they saw in Rango. He filled that part well, even if he didn't believe he was a hero from the start. Sometimes we need to get outside ourselves and be there for people in need. When we stop lamenting about how pointless our life is and try in some measure to fill the voids in others' lives, we actually become somebody. (I'll have to watch the movie again to figure out exactly what was said and to whom it was said, but I think this covers the gist of it).
Last word, check it out, you might enjoy it.