Friday 04 March 2011
The first 20 minutes of this are among the funniest and most brilliant of any animated movie I've seen. Johnny Depp voices, superbly, a hapless bulging-eyed chameleon named Rango who stumbles upon authority after lying – with his forked tongue – about an heroic past as a gunslinger. The drought-afflicted desert town of Dirt makes him their sheriff, though it's a poisoned chalice given that the place is actually run by a wily old tortoise who sounds (and looks) like John Huston. The script, by John Logan, unfolds a classic Western tale that leans heavily on the plot of Chinatown. Gore Verbinski and his visual consultant Roger Deakins work marvels, both in the animal characterisation and the parched desert scrubland where most of it takes place. What children will make of in-jokes about Hunter S Thompson and Clint Eastwood is anyone's guess, but they should enjoy the magnificent setpieces – one chase involving a giant metal-beaked hawk is priceless – while Johnny Depp's puckish, free-associating spiel has an eccentric charm all of its own. It's one of his greatest roles.
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Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
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Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
EastEnders Christmas special, review: Brilliant Danny Dyer glues you to your seat
Felicity Jones on being Stephen Hawking's wife in The Theory of Everything: 'I didn't want her to be a saint'
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
Doctor Who series 9: Jenna Coleman staying on for whole season as Clara Oswald
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader