Wow. Gore Verbinski, director of the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' series, has left the murky waters and the ocean depths to the dry and the barren in "Rango", a CGI-animated tribute to spaghetti westerns that breathes its own air in the process.
So I was just simply blown away by "Rango". I was blown away by its clever referencing to classic westerns. I was blown away by its stunning animation and textured atmospheres and character designs. The only thing I wasn't blown away by were its borderline stupid attempts to appeal to child audiences. That being said, those attempts were few and far between, and far from substantial enough to influence my overall thoughts on the film.
However, with all the things I was blown away by, there was one thing that raped any other form of appreciation I had for any other element of the film. I was hit in the face with a freaking metaphor. That's right folks, with all it has to offer in almost every category of film critiquing, it's driven by a metaphor. Rango's whole objective throughout the movie is to achieve self-discovery. He doesn't know who he is or why he exists, and he hopes by finding someone to communicate with, they can tell him, whether it's verbal or by expression he isn't concerned.
"Rango" is what I would call a paradigm of filmmaking driven by soul and inspiration. It's compelling, well-written, (insert all the other praise I've given it), and a ton of fun.