Rango (2011) *** (k:*****)

RangoRango is an animated flick too smart for its own good. In rating it I put aside all its good qualities, which I will list shortly, and objectively observed my level of interest during the film’s screening. Given I have looked at my wristwatch at least 4-5 times, I cannot honestly say the film was engaging. Here is what I did like about Rango – its animation was great – characters, motion, use of space, backgrounds – superbly done. Voiceover actors, led by Johnny Depp and Isla Fisher, are all perfect and then some. The music and sound effects – fitting. There were plenty of smart dialogues with lots of references not only the Western Genre (from High noon to Man With No Name) but also subtle yet visible inclusion of topics such as environment (mostly man’s infringement on the echo-system), soul searching Carlos Castaneda’s style (in the form of an armadillo named Roadkill) and plenty of dirty (practically dirty) politics. But with all this so well done, something was missing. I suspect its empathy. The film and fine acting still didn’t make me really care about a chameleon pet wanting to be an actor, seeking his true colors.
Still, compared with many of the animated films out there, it it’s an above the average film. My kids gave it an average of 4 stars.