Dir: Gore Verbinski (The Ring, Pirates of the Caribbean 1-3, Rango)
Cast: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Tom Wikinson, Ruth Wilson, Helena Bonham Carter, Bryant Prince, Barry Pepper and James Badge Dale
Synopsis: Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice.
*Review Note:This is a non-spoiler review as always.*
The Lone Ranger, an iconic character to the western genre.It’s been a while since the character has graced the big screen and what better way to bring him back than a big budget summer movie. Of course like every movie – and one that involves an iconic character – it has caused much debate amongst reviews. I’m not one to say their all wrong but I can say I see why they don’t like the movie. Some I agree with but others they should really let slide. It is the Summer Movie Season after all, aka the dumb fun movie season.
The movie is essentially an origin film about how a young lawyer John Reid (Hammer) becomes the masked avenger after coming home and then gets deputized by his older brother and model Ranger Dan Reid (Dale) after outlaw Butch Cavendish (Fichtner) escapes and have to go after him. Once out in the open Dan, John and other Texas Rangers are ambushed and all of them are killed by Cavendish and his gang. John, of course, becomes the only survivor and rises from the dead and is told by Tonto (Depp), who has his own reasons for pursuing Cavendish as well, that he is a “spirit walker” one who has seen the other side.The two team up to bring Cavendish down and stop another greater scheme.
The rest of the cast includes railroad tycoon Latham Cole (Wilkinson),a cavalry officer Fuller (Pepper), John’s nephew Danny (Prince), a brothel runner Red (Bonham Carter) and Dan’s widow Rebecca (Wilson). So yes, there are a lot of players in the game. Some, like Bonham Carter’s character could have probably been left since she really has nothing to do. The movie does rest in the hands of, at least in front of the camera, Depp and Hammer. Fichtner’s Butch Cavendish looks pretty terrifying and is he’s definitely a great addition to the cast.
Depp’s Tonto serves as almost a narrator to the whole movie in a way with a concept that some will probably like or not but it does explain why he gets top-bill (besides being the biggest star in the movie). As for his performance it’s really nothing new. His small ticks and mannerism are similar to Jack Sparrow although it never gets the same charm and wit that Sparrow delivers. Hammer’s John/Lone Ranger does the character justice (no pun intended) and you can tell he had fun with the iconic character.
The movie does cross between different tones ranging from serious moments to humor that mostly sticks between John and Tonto and a bit between John and Dan. Then to darker tone moments that revolve around Cavendish which you will know the moment it happens and also feels a bit out of place in a Lone Ranger movie. However, there’s some other stuff that doesn’t fit but Tonto tries to play into the movie.
Like Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s other collaboration on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies,The Lone Ranger is a bit long. I usually don’t mind long movies but the movies pacing is a bit off at times.There will be strong moments like Tonto’s dramatic backstory, which is one of the best and interesting aspects of the movie, and then it will slow down.
Nonetheless, Verbinski does a great job of setting up the set-pieces and the action sequences are pretty great. More particularly the finale were all the characters come together and all revolving, mostly, around trains which does play an important role in the movie.
All in all, The Lone Ranger is not the same Lone Ranger from the old days. It does feel a bit cluttered with all the characters and some are a bit underdeveloped but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. It really does have everything a summer movie needs; humor, action, and cool characters.
The Lone Ranger
4 out of 5