THE LONE RANGER (2013) Review

by on October 12, 2014

in Entertainment, movie reviews

Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in 'The Lone Ranger'

I’ve not heard anything great about The Lone Ranger and have not been tempted to pursue seeing it. But when it came up on STARZ, I thought I’d give it a go. I wasn’t expecting much and it turned out to not be as terrible as I was led to believe. Not quite as…

The Lone Ranger (Or should we call it Tonto’s Buddy) opens at a carnival in San Francisco in 1933 where a kid is looking at a display with an old Indian in it, which turns out to be an old Tonto, standing there, until he looks directly at the kid. This starts a conversation between Tonto and the kid where he starts to tell him about his exploits with the Lone Ranger. And thus, the movie is a bit of a conversation.

The opening scene where Reid meets Tonto is a curious mix of comedy and action. It does hit the mark on the comedic side and peppered with some unlikely fun action. Then the usual happens, where Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner) ends up murdering John Reid’s brother and a slew of other Texas Rangers, along with Reid himself. Or so Cavendish thought. Tonto saves him, despite their immediate past because a spirit horse (who the ranger later names Silver) picks him, Reid.

Throughout the movie we see a fascinating set of contradictions or curiosities.

One contradiction is the constant difference of perspectives or opinions between Tonto and The Lone Ranger. They always seem to want to do things in different fashions but end up at the same destination in each situation.

The other contradiction is this new Lone Ranger isn’t quite the same as the historical older character from days gone past. In action, he gets the job done, but during moments of inaction, he seems unsure of himself.

Oh, and the curiosity is that Silver seems to have an odd mystical powers that defied physics and Tonto kept feeding his bird headdress.

All in all, like many others have said, to some degree, it felt like another Pirates of the Caribbean film from director Gore Verbinski and star Johnny Depp (Tonto). It’s almost like Verbinski only has one style. At least in this case.

I was disappointed in how the film rebooted the legend of The Lone Ranger because I was hoping for more than this. But with an unknown (TO ME), Armie Hammer, it was confusing. He was not totally unknown, but when I first spotted him, I couldn’t place who the heck he was.

All in all, first time through, it was meh. I think it would be an awesome time-killer if it came on TV though!

To be honest, after all the trouble this production went through to make it to the silver screen, it surprised me how meh it was. And at the box office it seemed to flounder. But sadly, in reply to the poor box office performance, cast and production staff blamed critics for that.

Seven years ago Jerry Bruckheimer signed on to produce, and then they nabbed a director and screenwriter. Then Verbinski replaced the first director.

Disney then landed a winter, 2012 release date. But in late 2011 Disney cancelled the production due to a crazy high budget, which was reported to be around $250M. And later rumors said that werewolves were involved in the story. Then Verbinski scrambled to cut the budget to get the film going again and things got a green light around October of 2011.

After all that, they ended up with an estimated filming budget of around $210M (does not count marketing) and pulled in $255M worldwide.

This feels like John Carter all over again, except that they marketed Lone Ranger, dissed on John Carter and John Carter was a great movie.

Did You Know?:

When The Green Hornet came about in 1936, the Hornet’s identity was newspaper publisher Britt Reid. They made him the son of the Lone Ranger’s nephew Dan Reid. And we saw a lot of Dan in this film.  This 1936 effort was one of the first times that a franchise creator had tried to build a shared universe, AKA, crossover.

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