I may not have been a big fan of the Western genre growing up but there is one character in that genre that always struck a chord with me, that was The Lone Ranger. I remember growing up and watching old re-runs of Clayton Moore riding to the rescue of John Reid, aka The Lone Ranger. Growing up I was always a fan of the show and the movies, even the 1981 move Legend of the Lone Ranger.
Here we are in 2013 and Hollywood seems it would be a good time to dust off the hat and the mask an revamp The Lone Ranger for a new generation. Was this a good idea? Not by a long shot. If you have no clue who The Lone Ranger was and/or haven’t seen the show or read the stories, this incarnation is not the place to start.
John Reid was a strong character in the original tales and made a strong hero in the character of The Lone Ranger. In the 2013 movie this character is reduced to a bumbling fool. Tonto, his partner in crime takes on more of a bigger role than companion or sidekick, but is mainly used for comedic purposes.
The story for this re-telling goes as follows. John Reid takes on the tole of a Texas Ranger to help his brother Dan and his troop to hunt down and bring Butch Cavendish to justice. They are betrayed and Butch kills the lot, along with John. Death doesn’t keep a good man down and a spirit horse directs Tonto who to bring back from the dead. At least this time it worked better than it did in Pet Semetary.
Tonto resurrects Reid and thus The Lone Ranger is born. Both of them want Cavendish stopped and so they form a bond and go out in search of this flesh eating man. Yes the villain has a taste for human flesh.
Sounds for like an interesting story that should be fun to watch. One would think so.
Gore Verbinski, director of the Pirate of the Caribbean movies, comes back to direct The Lone Ranger. The strange thing it, this movie feels and acts just like Pirates. The directing style is the same, the story telling is the same. At some points some of the action feels lifted right from those movies. The comedy thrown in kills the feeling of seriousness that should have been there and the fun of the action as well. Verbinski really is feeling like a one trick pony with his movies lately and this one is no better.
Armi Hammer would have been great as John Reid, if he wasn’t playing the bumbling idiot. There were times near the end that felt like The Lone Ranger should, only if they kept the whole movie with that feeling. I do like Hammer’s acting ability but outside of The Social Network, he seems to be typecast of the bumbling fool. This is not how The Lone Ranger is and shouldn’t have been portrayed that way. I have a feeling there will be sequels, and if they are I hope they put a more seriousness, adventure to it and lessen the comedic side of things.
Johnny Depp is back as Captain Jack…or sorry I mean Tonto. Tonto you could say is Jack Sparrow toned down. He does a good job though as The Lone Ranger’s partner and is rather comical at times. It seems though as of late, Depp only seems to be channeling Sparrow, which is sad in a way, because he has been an open slate actor, one who seemed to be able to play anyone. Now it’s just the same ol, same ol.
The pacing of the film is all over the place. The editing is so up and down that the movie almost becomes a chore to watch. It is a long one too, clocking in at two and a half hours. It actually feels though longer than that. The film at times seems to have an identity crisis, not really knowing what type of movie it should be. Nothing is ever consistent in it.
The ending battle sequence seems to go on and on and who’s idea was it play The William Tell Overture on a loop throughout the entire ending battle scene. Yes it’s The Lone Ranger’s theme, but man, what feels like 20 minutes of music, that doesn’t even go along with the scenes just was too much to handle. The music felt shoehorned in at the end, almost as if to say, ‘gee I think we forgot to fully use the overture’. A funny way to put it in, a tip of the hat so to speak, would have been to have the band start up theme before they come crashing down. A missed opportunity I think.
Overall I can not recommend this movie at all. If you desperately want to see it, wait for a second run theatre or Netflix it when it gets up on there. This movie was a horrible mess, and it was one of the summer blockbusters I was looking forward to.
I give this movie 1.5 stars out of 5. Only because Depp was fun to watch as Tonto, even if the comedic scenes went on for way too long at times. The Lone Ranger should have been a serious, romantic adventure, not a road trip comedy with some action filler. ‘Till next time my friends.