Plot – Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice – The Lone Ranger.
Director – Gore Verbinski
Released – 2013
You’d have thought after John Carter failed to rake in the big bucks, Disney would avoid making another long and expensive misfire, however, The Lone Ranger proved this wasn’t the case, with them effectively repeating the same mistakes, producing another long and unfocused adventure, dotted with humour, a little drama and plenty of cultural appropriation from a famously over the top actor and while it contains aspects to make this an entertaining movie, they’re too spread out for this to be a great picture.
Although the choice to have Depp playing a Native American might be problematic in terms of appropriation, when it comes to his performance, he’s clearly trying his best with the script, while avoids making the character a native American Captain Jack Sparrow.
Armie Hammer, on the other hand, struggles to produce the on-screen gravitas required for the Lone Ranger. I’m not sure if it was the script that let him down or his relative inexperience, but a more experienced and charismatic actor might have been able to do more with the material and prove to be a bigger draw at the box-office.
As mentioned above, this is a long movie, The Lone Ranger certainly could have benefited from some trimming down. There are more than a couple of subplots that could’ve been removed without it affecting the overall story, especially the choice to bookend the film with an older Tonto telling a small boy the story which does nothing to advance the story, but rather breaks up the action.
Additionally, I lost count of how many times the heroes or the villains end up being captured and escape, it’s pretty clear that the filmmakers had all these great set pieces planned but struggled to think of a cohesive way to get them all in the film.
At the end of the day, The Lone Ranger despite all its flaws is most certainly not a write-off, it’s just a long and silly movie that doesn’t know its audience and most if not all of its humour is a misfire.