|“||Hello, Brother, Thirsty?||„|
|~ Jake to Rango|
|“||Listen close, you pathetic fraud. This is my town now. If I ever see you again, I will take your soul straight down to Hell!||„|
|~ Rattlesnake Jake driving Rango out of Dirt.|
Rattlesnake Jake is the secondary antagonist of Nickelodeon's 23rd feature film Rango. As his name implies, he is a dangerous Western diamondback rattlesnake who never leaves the town of Dirt without taking a single soul.
He was voiced by Bill Nighy, who also played Viktor in the Underworld film series, Davy Jones in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, Whitey in Flushed Away, General Fallon in Jack the Giant Slayer, The Network in The World's End, Prince Naberius in I, Frankenstein, Leo Argyll in Ordeal of Innocence and Howard Clifford in Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. In the video game, he was voiced by the late David Anthony Pizzuto.
Rattlesnake Jake is a western diamondback rattlesnake. He wears a black cowboy hat, shedded skin as a vest, and has a Gatling gun in place of his rattle on the tip of his tail. He is also shown to have small black scales on his upper lip that greatly resemble a mustache.
Rattlesnake Jake is characterized as extremely cruel, vicious and destructive, although he does have a sense of honor, as shown at the end. While incredibly experienced in battle, he also seems to be very familiar with utilizing fear, humiliation, and power-plays to get inside his enemies' heads. This was shown in the film, as he openly shamed Rango in front of all the people in Dirt and managed to keep everyone paralyzed with fear using only words and his frightening presence. This suggests that he can be quite cunning and manipulative.
Jake is also shown to be incredibly sagacious and perceptive, considering the fact that when the hill folks disguised themselves as a hawk in an attempt to scare him, he quickly discovered that it was a trick just by noting a very minor mistake they made. The combination of manipulation and perceptiveness suggests an intelligence far beyond that of a simple thug. Jake is a living legend among people of the desert and is known as a Grim Reaper-like figure, even saying himself that he comes from Hell and that he never leaves town without taking someone's soul. The only creature that Rattlesnake Jake fears is the Hawk, to which everyone else in Dirt also fears.
However, Jake is shown to have a code of honor, as he will side with others if they have a common enemy or he legitimately respects or admires someone.
Early in the film, Rango claims that Rattlesnake Jake is his brother when he is first brought up by the townspeople while making up his overblown heroic persona; thus, when Jake attacks the town, he uses this bold-faced lie to expose Rango as a phony in front of everyone and drive him out of town.
It is then revealed that Jake is working for the evil Mayor Tortoise John and, in a later scene, he is seen forcing Beans to sign away the deed of her father's ranch to the mayor and almost strangles her to death before Rango shows up again outside.
With the help from the hill clan, Rango defeats Rattlesnake Jake and aims his gun at him. Jake taunts him but sees that Rango has the killing intent in him, which he previously lacked. Just as he is about to shoot him, however, the Mayor stops him by threatening Beans' life, forcing Rango to surrender to the Mayor.
During the final confrontation, the Mayor betrays Rattlesnake Jake by pointing Rango's gun on him, declaring him another relic of the Old West that will soon be destroyed and forgotten along with the rest of the town. When the Mayor tries to shoot, it turns out that the last bullet was taken by Rango, who then uses it to break open the giant water bottle that he and Beans were drowning in and flush everyone out of the town hall into the streets, where Rango finally manages to subdue the Mayor. Rango then turns the defeated Mayor over to Rattlesnake Jake, who then nods his hat to Rango for saving his life, acknowledging him as another great desert legend that will thrive.
Rattlesnake Jake then turns his rage towards the Mayor by telling him the exact same thing the Mayor said to him, "Pretty soon no one will believe you even existed", in a show of cruel irony to him. Jake then snatches the Mayor up in his tail and carries the screaming tortoise out into the desert to punish him for his betrayal, thus taking a soul, as Bad Bill said.
- He may have been based on Angel Eyes from The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, played by the late Lee Van Cleef, as they have similar personalities, traits, dialects, black hat, antagonistic relationship with the hero, and (most importantly) their mustache. However, unlike Angel Eyes, Rattlesnake Jake had a much more on the honorable side underneath his heinous acts, and upon being betrayed by the Mayor, he lets Rango free while setting his sights on the Mayor, intent on killing him as revenge for his betrayal.
- In the Spanish version for Latin America, Jake was voiced by Joaquín Cosío, who also played General Medrano in Quantum of Solace.
- It is implied at one point that Jake was the one who killed the Jenkins Brothers, hence his anger towards Rango for claiming himself to have committed the deed.
- Jake displays an almost lustful and provocative behavior towards Beans, as in one scene, he licks her face, though it is likely another effort to terrify Rango and the townspeople.
- Despite being the secondary antagonist of the film, Rattlesnake Jake is a fan favorite, and more dangerous than the Tortoise John, though the Mayor was much more evil than Jake when the former betrayed him.
- The reason Jake exposed Rango instead of killing him was that if he killed Rango physically Rango would die looking like a hero.