Director Gore Verbinski takes us through a reimagining of an American icon, as Armie Hammer (The Social Network) and Johnny Deep (Pirate of the Caribbean) step into the cowboy boots of the Lone Ranger and his sidekick Tanto. When I first heard that Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer were brining the classic western hero of radio and television to the big screen, I was hoping the essence of old western films like High Noon and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid would have some sort of influence on the film.
But before I breakdown the movie I need to emphasize to the readers and theater goers on why The Lone Ranger is who he is and why he is an American legend. I say this knowing a majority of the audience was born after 1980. Way back when our great grandparents and grandparent listened to the 1933 radio show The Lone Ranger. They used their imaginations and conjured up one of the first American superheroes in their minds through what they heard from the written materials of Fran Striker and the Detroit radio network WXYZ.
The heroic pair first appeared on television in 1949. They became the first onscreen dynamic duo to dazzle millions as they saved the day defeating dastardly villains. The show even spawned the modern day counter parts Green Hornet and Kato. That’s right kids, without The Lone Ranger you wouldn’t have had Seth Rogen butchering another American television hero!
Now back to the present. This is a nice representation of the film seeing as it is the first in almost 31 years. But that’s as far as I go. I understand why Johnny Depp is credited as the main actor, not because he is a bigger draw at the box office, but because he as Tanto starts off in the film telling the story of how the Lone Ranger came to be. Though Armie Hammer portrays the main character of the film, the movie revolves around Tanto as he sets the whole plotline in motion.
Though the movie itself is entertaining in its own rights. Due to the era that the film is set in, the racial tones is a bit overbearing, as every supporting cast member either refers to each other as the Whiteman, Indian and or Chinaman; and even the violence in it was a bit graphic for being a Disney flick.
Though Depp and Hammer attempt to bring their best to represent the characters made famous by their radio counterparts, you realize that Depp is kind of channeling a watered down Jack Sparrow who out shines and takes away from the Lone Ranger himself. HELLO, Disney! The name of the movie is THE LONE RANGER! Parts of the action that Depp is involved in make him seem invincible, which makes it a bit frustrating when you see it.
It takes a little bit for Armie Hammer to get traction to accept his role as the Lone Ranger but by the third act of the film becomes an equal alongside Super Depp! What was surprising was how much time Silver the horse had, as some of the funnier and exciting parts was centered on the four legged extension of our masked hero, including an over the top action sequence which included the iconic March of the Swiss Soldiers theme song made famous by Gioacchino Antonio Rossini and conducted by Hans Zimmer that is synonymous with The Lone Ranger’s legacy.
Every actor does a decent job pushing the story along. Main antagonist William Fichtner (The Dark Knight, Apollo 13) brings full circle to both Lone Ranger and Tanto as he brings the duo together for similar reasons that make up the sub plot. Helena Bonham Carter’s (Fight Club, The Kings Speech) role was smaller than I expected it to be, realistically she could’ve been omitted from the film entirely; but added complexity to Fichtner’s vile character. Tom Wilkinson’s (Batman Begins, The Patriot) character was pushed too much earlier in the film so that you could almost predict his true intentions. Ruth Wilson (Saving Mr. Banks) is great as the damsel in distress and Barry Pepper once again fits perfectly into this western genre as he did in (True Grit).
Overall The Lone Ranger is sure to be another Disney blockbuster as this brings an explosive new genre alongside film juggernauts like Pirates of the Caribbean and National Treasure. So get ready western fans, this film is set to do you justice as Lone Ranger and Silver rides into the sunset!
Rated PG-13 for: Violence and intense action.
Run time: 2 hours and 29 minutes.
After Credits Scene: None
Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, Helena Bonham, Carter and Barry Pepper.
Director: Gore Verbinski
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 3.5 / Acting: 3 / Directing: 3.5 / Visuals: 3
OVERALL: 3.5 out of 5 Nerdskulls
Check out the trailer below: