(Be prepared for a very quote-heavy review this time around.)
This is one of those movies that just makes me smile. It is so incredibly weird, so completely original.
It's not one of my favorite stories, but I do like the ingenuity behind it, and the way it'll cause me to crack up every time I watch it.
What is it about, you ask?
"You know, I'm glad you asked me that, and I would be happy to tell ya…but you're all gonna have to listen up! Because this is where it gets--complicated."
The story is about a pet chameleon searching for his identity. Due to an *ahem* accident ("Your delusional quest just ruined my life!"), he winds up stranded in the middle of the desert--the very dry, very hot, very wide desert. With no option other than to trust the advice of the armadillo who started the problem in the first place (I know, I know, but "stay with me, now, I'm tryin' to make a point"), he sets out and eventually makes his way to the town of Dirt, the very epitome of a down-on-its-luck Western settlement, lacking a sheriff and rife with rough-and-tumble eccentrics. Since he has yet to "find himself," the ever-optimistic lizard determines to create an identity--as a hard-as-nails gunslinger, Rango, from "the far West." His charade fools the townspeople, and they adopt him as their Sheriff...but there's all manner of skulduggery going on in the mayoral offices of Dirt, unbeknownst to anyone, and trouble's a'brewin'.
"Shhummuh. Shhummuh! SHHMUUUHH!"
The characters in this movie are very well-developed--the voice acting is perfect, the animation is stellar, and the dialogue is hilarious. Here are some of my personal favorite quotes:
"Who goes there?! 'Tis I, the much-anticipated hero, returning to rescue his (emotionally unstable) maiden!"
"My daddy was a great man, even if he did exhibit a proclivity for legumes."
"What's going on?"
"Well, in order to satisfy the needs of the collective, the hero must abandon the self and solidify his image as an icon that will forever be remembered."
"Uh, so…this is the sunset shot."
"People, I've had an epiphany!"
"Get yer slimy webbed phalanges off mah boots!"
"So which way d'ya think they went? Wanna sniff the air or commune with a buffalo or somethin'?"
"You're eatin' his ashes!"
"Victor, you were wooden! There, I said it."
"What do you say, Sheriff?"
"Uh…clearly, the robbers came from this direction. I say we track this pipe back to its hydraulic origin and apprehend the culprits behind this aquatic conundrum!"
"What'd he say?"
"I think he said, 'Follow the pipe.'"
Like I mentioned, the animation in this movie is quite impressive. Every little nuance in facial expression, every vocal inflection--'t'is all captured well-night perfectly. You can almost feel the heat of the desert and smell the musty, empty odor of the creaky saloon. It's pretty fun;D
The music is very good, as well--though, of course, it's Hans Zimmer, and he is indubitably One of the Greats among soundtrack production (at least in my opinion *ostentatious sniff*), so that's no surprise. But seriously, I love how it blends from delicate yet gritty melodies to classic old-time yodeling to textured Mexican tunes.
The plot line is...odd, but adequately entertaining. One moment it's challenging you to keep pace with a delightfully continual stream of witty one-liners, and the next it's meandering along a slow, psychedelic, brooding dreamscape (you'd have to see it to get it). In fact, Hamlette described it as "a wacky, wonderful exercise in hallucinatory hilarity"--and I can't tell you how perfectly fitting of a description that is!
I love how the makers incorporated quips and references concerning classic Western movie-making methods--the saloons, sheriff badges, the apparently Clint Eastwood reference, the drunk doctors, etc.
So, overall, I'd definitely recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys spin-offs or just plain weird animated movies. Otherwise, you might not like it;)
"As long as this sign hangs here, we got hope." *bullets decimate the sign*