- Director: Gore Verbinski
- Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Western
- More Details and Credits »
For all its miscalculations, this is a personal picture, violent and sweet, clever and goofy. It's as obsessive and overbearing as Steven Spielberg's "1941" — and, I'll bet, as likely to be re-evaluated twenty years from now, and described as "misunderstood."
Though the story is mostly faithful to the established origin of the character, it's not until the last 15 minutes, when "The William Tell Overture" arrives in its full glory, that this starts to feel a little like The Lone Ranger. But that's too little, too late. And when The Ranger (played here by Armie Hammer) finally shouts "Hi-yo Silver," the moment is spoiled by turning it into a joke.
The fact that Johnny Depp alone gets top billing above the title, The Lone Ranger, despite not playing said character sums up the generally misguided approach taken by Depp and the creative crew behind the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise in bringing last century’s radio and TV hero back to the big screen in a big way.
It represents 2 1/2 of the longest hours on record, a jumbled botch that is so confused in its purpose and so charmless in its effect that it must be seen to be believed, but better yet, no. Don't see it, don't believe it, not unless a case of restless leg syndrome sounds like a fun time at the movies.
Jul 14, 2013The Lone Ranger...hated by critics...loved my me!
If you like Johnny Depp you will like this movie, if you liked the Pirates of the Caribbean, you will like this movie. Granted, Johnny Depp is not Jay Silverheels and Armie Hammer is not Clayton Moore. Although I watch the TV series faithfully as a child, I believe I enjoyed Johnny Depp's adaptation of Tonto better,, his is strange,, but he does make me laugh.
If you want a few laughs, and perhaps some "near" tears, go check out The Lone Ranger. Forget what the critics say...give it a try.… Expand
Jul 6, 2013I felt like I needed to write a review for this because of all the negative press it has been receiving. My wife and I absolutely loved this movie! We were smiling through the entire movie, and everyone applauded at the end of the movie! My wife wants to buy this movie for her dad for Christmas. We were so glad we did not worry about the "professional" reviewers and tried out this movie it was a great surprise! 10/10… Expand
Sep 3, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Ahead of The Lone Ranger as it made its way across the pond was a cloud of overwhelming negativity from American critics, souring the film's UK opening. Stars Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp have defended the film against this tirade, arguing that these reviews were written months before the film was released, and focused on condemning the large budget length. This side of the Atlantic, critical reception has been elevated to "mixed". Bracing ourselves for the worst, the revelation is that The Lone Ranger is actually a cracking film, that does not deserve its fate as the latest high profile flop.
Yes, the $250 million dollar budget screams extravagance, and the two-and-a-half- hour runtime seems bloated. This is typical of a Hollywood bubble that seems in danger of bursting, as studios continue to green light expensive sequels and reboots that absorb money and frequently fail to make a significant return. The length is not a problem; it remains interesting throughout, and the last sequence is almost a little too action packed.
What sets The Lone Ranger apart is that it is seriously old school cinema. The Lone Ranger himself, with his white Stetson, domino mask and strict moral code, is an iconic American character, first appearing in 1930s radio serials, and more famously in the 1950s television series. The latest incarnation is directed by Gore Verbinski, who knows a thing or two about working with Johnny Depp. The man who brought swashbuckling sagas back to our screens is an appropriate choice to resurrect one of the earliest Western heroes.
Trailers featured behind the scenes footage, seeking to make us aware that this film eschews total reliance on CGI, instead opting to perform many of the most impressive stunts for real. There are some particularly breathtaking sequences involving trains; the story is set against the backdrop of the transcontinental railway, the completion of which is relocated to reconstruction-era Texas.
The film provides compelling back stories and character arcs for both the Lone Ranger and Tonto. From the character's inception, The Lone Ranger was instilled with a strong set of principles, and this is how John Reid, the man who will become the Ranger, starts his journey: as a man of virtue but naivety, who believes in the law, and more importantly, a powerful sense of justice. This is challenged powerfully over the course of the film; Reid must carve himself a new justice as he comes to term with the faults in the system, and its ineffectuality in the lawless West.
Tonto's after Cavendish for different reasons, seeking atonement for the mistakes of his past. There's silver in them there hills, and the location of a rich vein was unwittingly revealed to Cavendish by a young Tonto. This folly cost the boy dearly: Cavendish murdered Tonto's entire village to keep the location a secret. Unable to come to terms with this act of brutality, Tonto convinced himself that the outlaw is a wendigo, a cannibal demon.
Much like other films that revive a beloved franchise, The Lone Ranger spends its time with tongue firmly planted in cheek, and is packed full of tip-of-the-hat homage. This nostalgia trip rubs off the generation that grew up with the classic incarnations, who are waiting for a cry of "Hi-yo Silver, away!" or a rousing rendition of William Tell Overture, both of which are delivered, and wisely held back until the finale.
The choice of the relatively unknown Hammer to play the Lone Ranger preserves some of the mystery of the character that might have been difficult with a familiar Hollywood face. Hammer handles the role with the good natured comic charm of Brendan Fraser in The Mummy (1999). As this is a Lone Ranger who is still learning the ropes of heroism, the casting allows Tonto to step into the limelight and spend more time driving the story.
Johnny Depp gives a typically quirky performance as Tonto. There's plainly something of a certain pirate captain coming through in the character's mannerisms, but Tonto's spirituality and raison d'être are different enough from Jack Sparrow's love of mammon and the bottle to keep the interpretation original.
With focus on the relationship between the two leads, secondary characters have limited screen time, and are underdeveloped. But the cast is rounded out nicely. An unrecognisable William Fichtner is suitably despicable as the cannibalistic Butch Cavendish and Helena Bonham Carter shows up as a brothel madam. The Lone Ranger has truly been a highlight of the summer film calendar. It manages to be both a traditional western that captures the spirit of old Hollywood, and revisionist in its interpretation of the characters. Don't listen to the critics on this one.… Expand
Jul 5, 2013Yet another modern adaptation that details the creation of the myth (and sets us up for sequels). This time, a city-slicker prosecutor (Armie Hammer) dons the famous mask to team up with a multi-layered Tonto (would you expect anything less from Johnny Depp?). The plot revolves around the advancement of the railroad in the Old West and so do all 3 of the action sequences, which are full of daring do and spectacular stunts. The rest of the time is dialogue in the dessert…a lot of it.,,too much (this is 2.5 hrs). And it's often in jarring modern slang. While the leads are both OK and the movie never bores, it never captures the imagination or thrills the spirit.… Expand
Jul 13, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. You can say what you want about critics and I say plenty, but the got it right this time.
Spoiler alert: If you haven't seen it, I get into plot below.. so read at your own risk.
Overall, the movie had some redeeming qualities, but generally it was just pretentious and overdone.
I thought the villains were not atypical of a greedy corporate wonk and the dirty lowdown scoundrel you find in these kinds of pictures. Relatively predictable, but much more extreme than it needed to be (a bad dude that eats body parts.... really...kind of sickening). The actual premise of the movie and how it unfolded was pretty good from the Tonto perspective but completely lacking from the Lone Ranger perspective. James Badge Dale as the Lone Ranger's brother was credible as was his wife, actress Ruth Wilson. Even the notion of a long past "triangle" between the 3 of them had the makings of a good twist even though it pretty much was meaningless beyond the reason the sheriff had him go with him to what would be the ambush.
But the notion of a "come back to Texas" lawyer who shuns guns being the lone ranger is pretty stupid, frankly. A "justice seeking local prosecutor turned vigilante because his sheriff brother got killed in an ambush that was part of a bigger conspiracy" would have been plenty of back story. Sheesh.. it didn't have to get stupid with the dude shunning guns and generally being an idiotic coward. Remember, this is supposed to be about the "larger than life" Lone Ranger.
Then there was the whole railroad invading Indian lands with the bad gang pretending the Comanches were invading local settlements thing. That was ok... in fact, it's a well heeled but twistable plot that did get some twists. Not too bad. But, then there's the savage Indians getting cut down by the cavalry that was so prosaic it made you wonder if you were all of a sudden in a Michael Moore documentary. Completely unnecessary and unjustifiable violence with no point and with no real additional value to the story. Better would have been the Lone Ranger and Tonto actually saving that... as the character and the show was built in that vane rather than slaughter em all social commentary.
Armie Hammer who played the Lone Ranger was lacking, although I think it was more about the script and some guy confusing the Lone Ranger with "Dudley Do-Right" of the Canadian Mounties. Entirely too "clean and wholesome" to have grown up in Texas and entirely too naive to have been the Lone Ranger. The character did not develop at all and then when the Lone Ranger went into action at the end paying homage to the comic book and TV series heroics (which I thought was cute as heck) it left you wondering what had happened. A better actor was needed to play the give and take with Johnny Depp. Not to the level of the "Sheriff" brother who was hardened and wise etc, but something better than some silly city flatfoot; it's an insult to the name of the Lone Ranger. Somebody like Chris Evans (who played Captain America in the Avengers and "The Flame" in the Fantastic 4), or Jeremy Renner who has played in everything from the Avengers and GI Joe and who has the capacity to play a good guy gone back who goes good again. Somebody who had a little dirt under his fingernails. The scene where Depp is trying to draw the "spirit horse" who would be Silver, to the Sheriff was a perfect setup for the transformation that would be the Lone Ranger through the collaboration of the due. But, alas, it never came to be.
Not without merit, I really do think that Johnny Depp played a very good Tonto and some of his stunts were great. I also thought the compliment of actors who played the Comanche were fantastic, albeit, in a limited role. Likewise, the premise of the story, an ancient Tonto found in a circus sideshow in the 1930's by a Lone Ranger worshiping boy (who would have been listening to the radio program back then, was brilliant. It was completely reminiscent of the "Buffalo Bill Wild West Show" idea that was very much alive and well in the 1930's and was a great add. Similarly, the horse, the silver bullet etc that were brought up in the story (the silver bullet coming from the silver in the ranger stars of his brother and the other rangers that were murdered) and the Horse being named Silver because of the silver mines the bad guys were trying to exploit from the Indians... perfection. As was the horse, which I know some will think stupid, but Silver was as much of a star in the Lone Ranger saga as was Tonto and the man himself. The fact that Silver keeps showing up to help the other two "save the day" was a fantastic way to add some humorous twists and it worked well (must have been Tim Burton and Depp on those). Similarly "Red" played by Helena Bohnam Carter was a great side character that played a key role.
The ingredients were all there. Some of it even came through, but sadly, the movie as a whole flopped… Expand
Oct 5, 2013The movie showed good potential at the beginning, and I was somewhat enjoying myself.
However, this soon changed, and it turned into quite the mess. The ending was so fantastical and unbelievable, that I completely lost interest, and subsequently stopped caring about it. The scene where silver (the horse) jumps off a building and onto the train, was so stupid that I completely dropped my jaw onto the dirty cinema floor. I am wondering if I can sue Disney for ruining one of my childhood heroes, as well as the germs that infected me from the whole jaw dropping on the floor thing...… Collapse