After Mousetrap and Pirates of the Caribbean I thought Gore Verbinski could be quite the interesting filmmaker. A little too heavy on the Gilliam for my taste, but he was doing stuff that, at the time, did not feel completely mainstream even though it was totally mainstream. Then came the Pirates sequels and I couldn’t tell if Verbinski had just become a lazy whore or was positioning himself to do something really interesting when all the dust settled.
It could be the latter. There’s a teaser trailer for his new animated movie Rango online now and it’s really odd. Sort of trippy, incredibly minimalist and totally obtuse. It tells you nothing about the movie at all – it’s just a desert road and a wind up fish floating across it. But that could be telling you everything you need to know, that this is a film that’s tapping into a dusty psychedelia that’s been off the movie map for years. Maybe Verbinski is making the Pixar version of a Jodorowsky film.
I could be overselling it, but I like that the trailer has so little and yet can get me so intrigued. The logline for it is less intriguing – a housepet chameleon, voiced by Johnny Depp, goes on a voyage of self discovery – but when mixed with those visuals it takes on a new meaning. Could this be an animated movie that takes advantage of the form to do something more interesting than simple anthropomorphization? I hope so.
Here’s the trailer.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey