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
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.
Ranger may have been revived for
this movie, but I am not so sure he will ride again.
Lone Ranger is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and
violence, and some suggestive material.