I have mixed feelings on this one. I am big Johnny Depp fan and this was a funny movie. I guess I figured it was a kids movie. And it is, but there was a lot of adult humor that my 5 and 4-year-old couldn’t appreciate. At the same time it was silly enough for kids to enjoy. I think they were trying to reach out to all ages.
Basic storyline: A lizard (Johnny Depp) – whose name is not mentioned in the beginning – winds up in the Mojave desert after his “home” (typical terrarium) shatters because it was thrown out of a car who hit a possum crossing the highway. The possum is somehow still alive and is on some spiritual journey to the “other side” (of the highway) where the “Spirit of the West” is. The lizard winds up in a town named Dirt and decides to invent a tough hero character named Rango for him to play. By sheer luck and his awkwardness he kills a hawk and convinces the townspeople that he’s not to be messed with. The mayor makes him the sheriff because he knows Rango is a phony. All Rango wants is some water but it turns out that Dirt is all out and he gets pulled into the mystery of finding the town’s missing water. First they think it’s a band of thieves, but it turns out it’s the mayor. The mayor calls on a rattle snake outlaw to take care of Rango and tell everyone that he was lying to them. Rango gets kicked out of Dirt and he heads back to the highway. Somehow he gets across without getting run over and sees the “Spirit of the West.” He gets some enlightening advice and finds how the water was being stopped. He calls on the thieve’s family (a band of prairie dogs) and goes back to Dirt to save the town.
There was plenty that my boys enjoyed. Gio loved the silly Rango character. Actually the Rango character reminded me a lot of Gio. Same skinny slightly awkward movements :-) I enjoyed the adult humor. Seppe did not appreciate me laughing when he didn’t understand what was so funny – again he’s only 4. I think it’s a good family movie to go to – especially if you have kids that are 8 and up. It’s a movie about self-realization that is just a little too mature for younger kids to grasp. It is a what I would expect an animated film with Johnny Depp would be – a little strange with some deep meaning. But like I said, there is plenty for kids to laugh at and has a happy ending. All in all a 4 out 5.