The tale of a chameleon with no identity

–Samantha Coombes contributed with this report

Rango sees Johnny Depp step out as a small chameleon in this surreal animated film. But it’s not just for children.

Set in the American west, the crooked necked chameleon finds himself lost, alone and without an identity – well wouldn’t you if your aim in life was to “blend in”? However, after a short run in with Roadkill, a friendly old and wise armadillo, the little lizard soon finds himself in the dusty and desolate town of Dirt. It is here that he adopts his hero gunslinger persona named Rango to help uncover the bandits stopping the town’s water supply.


Rango blending in with his surroundings. Photo: Paramount Pictures

Rango’s most defining feature is how it effortlessly blends the old of classic westerns with the new of beautifully engineered CGI animation. It almost verges on dystopian with the town of Dirt becoming a wasteland combined with extremely bizarre and diverse characters representing archetypes of any good western. Bill Nighy voices the frightening snake gunman with a machine gun instead of a rattle on the end of its tail.

The film also cleverly re-creates classic moments from films such as “Apocalypse Now”, “China Town! and most of all “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. This gave a different edge of comedy that can be enjoyed by the older generation whilst the slapstick variety was to please the younger ones – and probably many of the adults as well.

Depp adds his own weird and wonderful charm to Rango’s character to form hilarious and light-hearted PG moments when the film becomes quite dark and surreal as it explores Rango’s confusion over his identity.

Directed by Gore Verbinski and featuring an all-star cast, this film is not to be missed if you like something that’s a bit more ‘Yi-ha!’ compared to most animated films.

One Response to The tale of a chameleon with no identity

  1. Hannah says:

    I enjoyed Rango! However it isn’t for small children – they don’t get the humor! I enjoyed Unknown too! Liam is good not as great as Taken though. Lincoln Lawyer surprised me – really good suspense movie! Also, saw Just Go With It tonight and loved it! Adam and Jennifer have great chemistry. The scenes with Nicole and Jen will crack you up. Nicole should do more comedy. A great date night movie.