THE LONE RANGER
The Lone Ranger is the latest modern-day big budget western blockbuster action flick where it brings back the iconic serial-TV self-titled character along with his Indian sidekick, Tonto to a grittier and edgier version of the wild west, though maybe the franchise should’ve stayed dead as Tonto suggested The Lone Ranger to be in this movie.
The Lone Ranger takes place in the early 1800s on the corrupted Wild West, it centers on a Native American warrior named, Tonto that makes a hero out of an uptight-lawyer named, John Reid. From there they team up together to find the killer of John’s brother who happens to be a notorious criminal, Butch Cavendish.
I was never really a big fan of the old Lone Ranger show as a kid but I was very much aware of what the show is, the only knowledge I ever had about the show was The Lone Ranger is the one with the bright blue outfit and a fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty "Hi-yo Silver" and Tonto is the badass indian sidekick (and the fact that they had a cartoon shown in Boomerang in late nights). Though, I was optimistic as I go in to watching this movie, the trailers weren’t all that impressing, so were the clips and that video the marketing team made “Why you should watch The Lone Ranger” was rather annoying than it is in any way “truthful”. As I go out of the movie, I enjoyed this movie from the first (excluding the introduction given by Tonto) and last 25 minutes of the film, while the scenes in between were just fragments.
The Lone Ranger is literally a relic that should be left alone from now on and this film shows why it should be left alone. The film tries to ride the train of reboots or remakes of making a campy TV-show or movie be re-told in a more realistic, grittier, darker, edgier kind of storytelling but the film is overshadowed with cartoonish and campy elements (mostly “comedic”) that didn’t really mix well with the tone. The kind of “campy” where characters are appearing out of nowhere or maybe even a horse drinking a bottle of beer and at the same time belch and fart like a human being, or our heroes would be bumbling idiots and outrun an explosion or a storm of arrows and flying shards of metal where they would go out of it without a scratch. As much as I want to say that most scenes like that are entertaining, those kinds of things took me out of the film because the film didn’t really know what kind of tone the film would be.
The film’s storytelling basically suffered the same way as the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels did where it is overly long as it over-complicates the simplest situations in the progression of the film. This film is 2 ½ hours long and this film puts so many big ideas of corruption and how it affects the pact between the whites and the native-Americans and the civilization itself. The problem with the film is that there were too many ideas that are shoe-horned in the movie that are rather unnecessary and as a result the movie did become convoluted as the film progresses. Not to mention the film is packed with so much unneeded exposition that could’ve been cut out of the film easily for a better running time.
I’m not really a fan of a movie being told as a flashback that much especially when it is not done right, this is the best example of that element not being done right and it is one of the film’s biggest plot holes. The first person perspective didn’t really give much weight for the narrative, and yet it didn’t make any sense when the character was barely present in a long period of time in each scene. The action set-pieces are enjoyable to watch especially when the original theme song of the show/serial is being played during a few big action set pieces. I think the action set pieces that I thoroughly enjoyed has something to do with a train or actual spaghetti western-esque gun-fighting in-between of the film.
The two main stars like Social Network’s Armie Hammer and Pirates of the Caribbean’s Johnny Depp are also flawed as well, which is disappointing because these two could’ve been the most ambitious part of the film. These two rarely show any chemistry together, by the end their friendship was rarely resolved after their banter (and the fact that the Lone Ranger left Tonto to die under the sand) nor are they even relatable. Both were never really given the right material to do anything memorable or fresh, they were more as portrayed as two bumbling idiots.
Armie Hammer physically embodies the ideal on-screen hero, just by the look and the voice, he is a spot on “Lone Ranger”. Though he lacks the charisma, I understand that they’re making a twist of the character for him to be cool for this new generation but it didn’t necessarily work. I believe that there should’ve been more subtlety to the writing of the character other than him being a bumbling idiot throughout the film. Johnny Depp, on the other hand also had less to do but do an impersonation of his past character Captain Jack Sparrow. As much as I like the character of Captain Jack Sparrow I just hate the fact that Johnny Depp keeps recycling his nuances of the character to a role that is not even like the character, though as much as I want to say that the film did have a few good moments of him, it is still annoying to see Johnny Depp do an Captain Jack impersonation again. Though, William Ficthner was actually one of the best parts of the film, he is a great villain in this film. He wasn’t necessarily the type who did the steal the show in this film but he was good enough.
In the end, “The Lone Ranger” is a “Wild Wild Mess” (ba-dum-tss). I did enjoy the film for the fragments it has, the film is packed with obvious plot holes and an un-inspired yet complicated narrative. Though there are still a few things to enjoy in this movie, mostly the first and last 25 minutes, the action set-pieces and most of the performances are enjoyable enough but it is definitely not saying a lot since you’re paying a lot of money for just fragments of the film. It’s not really something to rush to the theaters unless you have been waiting and urging to see this film for months since the first trailer came out (or maybe you are a Johnny Depp fan girl). I have no plans in seeing this film again, unless it is on rent or maybe when it is going to be played on TV.
+ ACTION SET PIECES
+THE FIRST AND LAST 25 MINUTES
-OBVIOUS PLOT HOLES
-BADLY MIXED TONES
2/5 – MEH!