DVD OF THE WEEK: Rango
by Vadim Rizov
Shortly after his cage falls out of a car, pet chameleon Rango (voiced by Johnny Depp) gets blown around by the passing vehicles' fierce wind tunnels, at one point flying into a car being driven by Hunter S. Thomspon surrogate Raoul Duke (Depp) and his "too weird to live, too rare to die" lawyer friend. The Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas nod is a one-off that sets the tone: Rango is a hallucinogenic children's film. The lizard sports the same Hawaiian shirt, and the climax necessitates a heroic quest to Las Vegas, though the Depps don't meet again.The script actually manages to retain the motif and run with it, which is typical of the film's thoroughness: allusions are developed and sustained over the course of the film rather than just dropped in as jokey references for the grown-ups.