Rango Revisited

RangoTo quote one of my favorite lines from the almost forgotten animated film Flushed Away (2006), “I seen (sic) my opportunity and I took it.” In this case, I am speaking of taking my grandchildren to see Rango a second time.

And just so there is no mistake, we all liked it better than the first. Given my earlier review, I won’t bore you by repeating my praise at length. However, in my original review I failed to note two marvelous attributes of this extraordinary little film.

First of all, the music is simply sensational. Not only does it play a central role in defining the comic element of repeated scenes, but you also see four goofy little owls playing musical instruments in time with whatever song is playing at that moment. It is wonderfully hysterical from beginning to end.

Secondly, the script for Rango is ingenious. Written by John Logan, the repeated witty exchanges rival any of the comic moments of last year’s Oscar winning The King’s Speech. Quite frankly, it would not surprise me one bit to see this original screenplay be considered for a nomination at Oscar time. It is that good.

And speaking of Oscars, I am more convinced than ever upon a second viewing that it will challenge any remaining animated film this year for the top award. My opinion is further bolstered by the fact that the other anticipated animated films are less than inspiring.

To begin with, and for reasons known only to them, Pixar is coming out with a sequel to what I consider its weakest film, Cars (2006). While it was certainly tolerable, it fell far short of its other great films. And not only that, but it contains one of the most annoying characters to be in any animated film, namely that bucktooth jalopy voiced by the lamentable Larry the Cable Guy.

As to the remaining films, Hop is coming out tomorrow, and despite the fact that the central character is voiced by the delightfully unpredictable Russell Brand, it looks like an amalgam of the worst elements of Despicable Me and the best of the increasingly annoying Chipmunk movies.

As for DreamWorks, they are betting the ranch on a spinoff of the tired “Shrek” series, in this case a movie about Antonio Banderas’ “Puss in Boots” in a movie with the same title. Maybe it will surprise, but I doubt it.

Additionally, though Hoodwinked (2005) remains a really good film that never received its due, the previews of the sequel that will appear this year fall short of inspiring any type of meaningful anticipation. We’ll see.

Finally, it is with great reluctance that I point out that a “Smurfs” movie will soon hit a theater near you. Thank God for prescription drugs!

Regardless, Rango is not only the top grossing film this year, but I also think it is the best one. With our without kids, do yourself a favor and see it.