Monday, July 8 2013, 02:30 PM MDT
Movie Review: The Lone Ranger
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner
Genre: Action, Adventure, Western
Recommended To: Johnny Depp fans, those that enjoyed the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean films and lovers of absurdist action films.
Synopsis: Tonto (Johnny Depp) tells the story of how he came to know John Reid (Armie Hammer) and the early adventures that made them both legends.
Review: Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski have teamed up to make two highly enjoyable films in 2011’s animated classic Rango and 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Unfortunately they also paired for the first two Pirates of the Caribbean sequels with less than remarkable results. I try to always go into a movie optimistic, but the various trailers for The Lone Ranger were fairly unimpressive. I was somewhat worried about Depp’s performance as Tonto and extremely nervous about the absurdity of the action sequences. Would The Lone Ranger be a coherent story or simply a string of outrageous stunts to distract the audience from realizing there wasn’t a plot to be found within the script? Turns out it was a little of both.
There are times when The Lone Ranger works incredibly well as it balances the silliness with a decent storyline. Yes, the film feels more like a Tonto origins story, but it’s an interesting tale that gives purpose to Depp’s eccentric performance.
Unfortunately there are also times when the film strays so far from reality that it feels like a poorly executed Looney Tunes cartoon. These major shifts in tone are incredibly uncomfortable.
I appreciate and applaud that the film tries to address the terrible things that were done to Native Americans. These moments are insightful and occasionally horrific. Sadly, they’re also undercut by the comedic antics that surround them. I realize that The Lone Ranger is an action film and not a historical drama, but a more even tone could have made it an action film with a deeper meaning.
-Ryan Michael Painter