Average User Score: 6.5Jul 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