'Rango' Reviews Split: Should You See or Skip?

Rango movie poster
Johnny Depp is Rango
Finding a great movie to watch is hard these days as we're in a bit of an off-season, but a few stand out as pretty good, or at least watchable, and Rango is one of those. For starters, there's the cast, with Johnny Depp as the lead and Isla Fisher, Alfred Molina, Abigail Breslin, and several others rounding it out. Plus, it's directed by Gore Verbinski, the man behind the Pirates of the Caribbean blockbuster franchise.

Even the story's cute: it's about a chameleon who wants to be an actor but instead pretends to be a sheriff to a town that desperately needs order.

It all sounds hopeful, and reviews for Rango were looking good ... until they weren't.


Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times:

In a world choked with animated films — the good, the bad and the ugly — it's hard to be either original or great. Yet director Gore Verbinski has done both — and without 3-D — breaking the rules and new ground in the town of Dirt.

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times:

"Rango" is some kind of a miracle: An animated comedy for smart moviegoers, wonderfully made, great to look at, wickedly satirical, and (gasp!) filmed in glorious 2-D. Its brilliant colors and startling characters spring from the screen and remind us how very, very tired we are of simpleminded little characters bouncing around dimly in 3-D.

Sadly, not everyone's a fan. In fact, some practically hate it ...

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel:

“Rango” requires some explanation. It is funny, inventive and downright daft. At times. But who is it for, what is it and most pointedly — what is the point?

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune:

It is, for what it is, a work of considerable care and craft. And it's completely soulless. [...] Rango never shuts up, but he never has anything funny or touching or clever to say.

Let's start with what everyone likes: an animated feature in 2-D that's still visually pleasing. Apparently, if you have beautiful colors, great landscapes, and all-around great animation, you don't need 3-D! Who would've thunk it?!

The talent of the cast also leaves an impression, but how well that talent's used seems to be the issue. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that will make you a fan or make you demand your money back. But let's try, shall we?

Skip it:

If you want a completely original storyline and a strong script. If you hate cowboy movies or anything about the Wild West. If you aren't up on movie and pop culture references.

See it:

If you want pure entertainment but don't need too much substance. If you're sick of 3-D and want to protest. If you want to see a fun movie with your kids. If you love Johnny Depp.

Minus the kids, I definitely fall in the "See it" group, what about you? 

Will you be watching Rango this weekend?


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