The Lone Ranger (2013) Directed by Gore Verbinski. Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner. IMDB says: “Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice.”
“Don’t EVER say that again…”
The Lone Ranger is an “origins story”. It’s the story of John Reid’s (Armie Hammer) transformation into the Lone Ranger and his meeting/partnering with Tonto (Johnny Depp). That story is told through the events of a railroad tycoon’s greed, the escape of a notorious outlaw, and the beginnings of a war between the Natives and the Americans. Yeah. That’s a lot to get through. And even though the films two and a half hour run time is filled with gun fights, train robberies, train gun fight/chase sequences, explosions, and all the dirt and grit that goes along with a western, I still found myself bored. The score was great and complimented the film, the set pieces and locations were magnificent and really added to the film, but overall: bored.
The performances were solid. There were a few weak links here and there (looking at you Helena Bonham Carter) but with a cast like Armie Hammer, Johnny Depp, Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, and Barry Pepper, how could you go wrong? The story was great, combining elements of non-linear story-telling with some Princess Bride-type story-telling (you know, the kind where one person is telling the story and this little kid keeps poking his nose in and asking questions. I was actually surprised by that idea and satisfied with its outcome. Worked really well.) that made for an entertaining and plot-hole-less story. But I still found myself unble to feel excited about the movie or really get into it; and I love westerns! I think some of it had to do with the CGI use. I understand that budget and safety might not allow you to destroy an entire bridge, allowing a train to derail off of that and plunge into a river, but there were many scenes that could have and should have been done with practical effects; much like a western.
The movie is definitely a pop-corn flick. If you enjoyed the Pirates films and like “comboys and Indians” then you’ll enjoy this movie. Whether you want to catch this as a matinee or wait for Netflix/VOD, that’s up to you.