The Spirit of the West

When you think about Johnny Depp making a film with Gore Verbinski, The Pirates of the Caribbean movies probably come to mind. And when you first saw the trailer for Rango you probably wondered what the hell it was about. Well, Rango is an oddball animated film from Nickelodeon that was directed by Gore Verbinski and stars Johnny Depp. And it’s the best film they’ve made together since the first Pirates film.

In Rango Johnny Depp plays an oddball pet chameleon, who due to a near car accident, ends up stranded in the Mojave desert. He heads to the nearest (animal) town after being pointed in the right direction by a wise old armadillo. When he reaches the town he realizes he can be anyone he wants to be, so he tells the townspeople he is a gunslinger from the far west.

Rango somewhat accidentally kills a hawk that has been a menace to the town and is named sheriff. From then on he is enveloped in a mystery of what’s happened to the town’s water supply.


  • The voice cast does a great job. Isla Fisher puts on her best southern accent for Beans (the love interest) and Ned Beatty is great as the town’s Mayor, a turtle that seems to have a secret. Johnny Depp completely steals the show as the oddball Rango.
  • The animation really is beautiful. It is by far the best thing about the movie. It’s not that the story is bad or anything, this movie just looks great. Especially on Blu-Ray.
  • A “cameo” by Hunter S. Thompson. It’s pretty quick, and obviously animated, but it was fun to see.
  • I did say the story wasn’t bad, but it is quite predictable. This is par for the course in a movie aimed towards kids, but I also feel like kids won’t understand a lot of what happens in Rango either. It’s almost too smart for most kids, but too dumb for most adults.
Thankfully Rango is pretty to look at and it was cast well, because that’s what makes this worth seeing. It’s available to rent now and if you’re in the mood for something to stare at for an hour and a half, you can’t go wrong with Rango.
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