The Lone Ranger
2 Waffles!

You don’t realize how thankful I was when The Lone Ranger theme started playing and it wasn’t some remix from Jay-Z featuring a cameo from Miley Cyrus. They might play around a bit with the Lone Ranger legend and origins, but at least everyone involved in this one knows to keep true to what matters.

In The Lone Ranger, Johnny Depp stars as Tonto - a Comanche living in Colby, Texas in 1869.

Tensions are running high as the Transcontinental Railroad is being joined from the West and East coasts, and Comanche land stands in the way.

Meanwhile, Armie Hammer stars as John Reid - the local boy who is returning to Colby to become the new district attorney. He wants to bring law and order to this rough western town, but his brother, Dan (James Badge Dale), is the local sheriff who knows it won’t be that easy.

When Reid joins a posse to capture an escaped murderer (it’s not a western without a posse), and he’s double crossed and left for dead, Tonto finds John and reluctantly helps bring him back to health. Realizing anonymity is their only hope of catching those who are behind this and the bigger, more nefarious plot, Tonto convinces John to don a mask and ride as The Lone Ranger.

The movie can be summed up as a great opening sequence, a great closing climactic scene, and lots of fudgy average stuff in between.

Director Gore Verbinski knows how to film some action scenes and those featuring action in, above and around trains are thrilling.

But the rest of The Lone Ranger is predictable and begging for more excitement. Lots of tried and true storylines are here about love triangles, sibling rivalry and secrets motivating our villains, but I did like how the creative team introduces all of the Lone Ranger elements with good backstories for Tonto and John Reid, learning how he gets his horse Silver and the origins of the Lone Ranger, which many people probably don’t know, so it feels like new (I never knew most of this).

This part of the story is the most true to the original, so it will please long time aficionados, who might be upset at some of the other liberties taken with The Lone Ranger tale.

I don’t think this movie is going to make The Lone Ranger a massive figure like he once was, but Armie Hammer does a great job portraying the good and honest guy for modern times, if he just had a little more action in this movie.

You feel like a decision was made to make this The Tonto Movie with The Lone Ranger, even though they are more partners than we ever saw originally. However, Hammer is a very dynamic actor and has some heroic moments and dramatic moments that prove he can carry a movie by himself, if given the opportunity.

Then, you have to feel for Depp. He is being coaxed into being part comic relief, and has to walk a fine line in his portrayal of the Comanche. If he plays Tonto the traditional way, there will be protesters in front of the theater. If he goes too far from what we have known Tonto to be, he loses the long time fans (not sure how many are still out there, but they want to buy tickets).

Much the same can be said about portrayals of other groups in the movie. Verbinski and the writing team are caught in between being sensitive and trying to be comical.

The Lone Ranger may have been revived for this movie, but I am not so sure he will ride again.

The Lone Ranger is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some suggestive material.