The Lone Ranger (2013) Review:
First off, I know next to nothing about the original Lone Ranger, beyond various pop culture references, so I can’t compare it to what came before. That being said, I liked the movie. The action scenes were great, it had good humor, and at the same time dealt with a serious subject: the annihilation of indigenous cultures by huge corporations.
At first, it looks to be as if one greedy bandit (Butch Cavanditch; played by William Fichtner, who has a wonderful make-up job!) is behind a plot to make it look like the Comanche attacked a railroad, so that it can expand and leave his gang with all the silver mines. This is where Johnny Depp comes in, who takes on the brother of the slain Texas Rangers (After some funny dialogue with a white“ spirit horse”.) under his wing. He becomes The Lone Ranger…in this version, he’s a lawyer commited to the Law and Justice. They come up with unique ways for him not to kill…mostly with trains crashing! Yes, a lot of trains crash, and it is beautiful!
Johnny Depp is there mostly for comedic relief. But also, they had real Native Americans in the movie, who explain that Tonto is a bit of an idiot. I found it telling that Tonto was never with the real Native Americans, as if to be respectful of their culture. By the way, the Native Americans didn’t speak pidgin English. I thought them writing off Tonto’s antics was well-played as a show of respect. There’s also bits of African-American, Irish, and Chinese culture, which reminds us that the West was built by immigrants. It was nice to see such multiculturalism!
There are plenty of gunfights, horseback and afoot. But, The Lone Ranger never kills, so committed is he to justice. There’s a nice assortment of characters from all walks of life including an oddball prostitute played by Helena Bonham Carter with a rifle in her wooden leg. Did I mention all the gunfights are outrageously over-the-top? Yeah, they are. They got horses jumping off roofs like it ain’t no thang. But, to me, that’s a good thang!
Overall, it was a great movie. People in the theater laughed, I laughed at Tonto and that “stupid horse” (Tonto seems to be, to me, an amalgam of Depp’s Hunter S. Thompson in voice, and in performance, Jack Sparrow!) Anyway, it’s got good action, a good moral, and some good storytelling and jokes. Armie Hammer (The actor who plays the Lone Ranger.) is a likeable guy. I can easily see him as the next Batman, or some other masked hero. He’s got a very clean-cut heroic face. It was also nice to see that they used the Lone Ranger’s classic theme to good effect…twice at least! (Superman take note!)
Two thumbs up from me, and I’ll be looking forward to Armie Hammer’s next role. Though I’m betting it’ll be a superhero. The next Batman, maybe. Or The Flash. I don‘t know; from Lone Ranger to Batman seems like a logical step to me. Some Justice League guy, I’d like to see him as! (Again, Superman, take note!) Or maybe he’ll just do The Lone Ranger 2. I’d be happy with that!