Cert: 12A Runtime: 149 mins Director: Gore Verbinski Cast: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson, James Badge Dale, Ruth Wilson and Helena Bonham Carter
Horse says you are a spirit walker. A man who’s been to the other side and returned. A man who cannot be killed in battle
The Lone Ranger has been under the spotlight for a while now, what was tipped as one of the summer highlights has plummeted to the ground. America hated The Lone Ranger, but will the rest of the world? For me many people in Europe have liked it more than the Yanks. There was only one thing to do really, go watch this movie. So what is Lone Ranger? In the 1930s, an elderly Tonto tells a young boy the tale of John Reid, the Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer). An idealistic lawyer, he rides with his brother and fellow Texas Rangers in pursuit of the notorious Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner). Ambushed by the outlaw and left for dead, John Reid is rescued by the renegade Comanche, Tonto (Johnny Depp), at the insistence of a mysterious white horse and offers to help him to bring Cavendish to justice. Becoming a reluctant masked rider with a seemingly incomprehensible partner, Reid pursues the criminal against all obstacles. However, John and Tonto learn that Cavendish is only part of a far greater injustice and the pair must fight it in an adventure that would make them a legend.
Going forward, the film is actually pretty similar to the PotC movies in that both of their main characters proceed on a lengthy, action-packed adventure throughout various lands for basically the entire film. In addition, you have the exact same humour, which is again provided by Johnny Depp, and this is where I unfortunately name one of my major gripes with the movie. It’s that Johnny Depp plays an incredibly similar character to Jack Sparrow; the only difference being is that Tonto is a Native American, not a swash-buckling pirate. They provide the same amount of comic relief throughout their respective films, and I was not in the least bit convinced of Johnny Depp as a “fighting-for-his-land” Native American. He never brings that seriousness to his character even though the film begs for it as it primarily deals with the theme of the white men taking the land of America from its original inhabitants. Instead of aggressively plotting against the villainous characters of the film to proclaim his land that’s unjustly stolen, he takes his time with goofiness and outlandishness.
Other than that, the film itself is actually enjoyable with the humour occasionally delivering and the adventure being wholly entertaining from start to finish. Now, this is where the audiences have to expect what they’re really getting from the film, meaning if you view it with the right expectations, it’ll be a blast.
The pacing is surprisingly decent for an approximately two-and-a-half-hour movie with little to no scenes being dragged out or completely vapid. There are a few twists and turns along the way, and as the story progresses, you buy into the chemistry between Tonto and John Reid. The development of their relationship feels interesting as they’re not the typical giddy best friends nor do you ever feel like they particularly like one another, which makes the film that much more captivating- how will they be able to finally reach their goal when they’re constantly fighting and arguing with each other? Then comes the set design which is utterly believable, placing you into the perilous West where outlaws duelling it out left and right. To put it simply, everything feels in place in terms of the look. Noticeably, critics have been discussing the numerous tone shifts throughout the movie, and I found one tragic action scene later in the film a little out of place as the rest of the film felt more light-hearted than anything, but I didn’t exactly see anything that bothered me elsewhere. In the end, The Lone Ranger has its fair share of flaws but not nearly as many as critics are whining about. If you’re looking for a popcorn flick, The Lone Ranger will be one of the few movies at the local cinema that can satisfy you in that department. Otherwise, there’s nothing else to it, and as most blockbusters in recent years, there’s no knowing if this film will be remembered in a couple of years down the road, but in the meantime- if you’ve got the money- why not?