Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
“If we ride together, we ride for justice,” says John Reid (Armie Hammer) to his new Indian companion. “Justice is what I seek, Kemosabe,” replies Tonto (Johnny Depp) in the big screen reboot of the classic Western adventure The Lone Ranger.
After being betrayed by one of their own men and led into a trap while hunting the notorious outlaw Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner), Marshall John Reid along with his Texas Ranger brother Dan (James Badge Dale) and five other men are ruthlessly shot down and left for dead. The not-quite-right in the head Native American Tonto begins to bury the men when a beautiful white stallion keeps prodding and softly stomping at John Reid who turns out not to be dead. Believing it’s a sign from the great beyond that Reid is the man who will help Tonto bring to justice the men he hunts, the warrior drags the wounded lawman out of the newly dug grave and waits for him to wake.
Finally awake and aware of what happened to his brother and the other good men he rode with, Reid vows to bring Cavendish and his posse to justice. Tonto, thinking it’s better that their enemies believe Reid to be dead, suggests that he wear a mask and hide his identity while they search to find the outlaws. And thus the Lone Ranger is born and the legend is about to be created.
Tedious and overly violent, The Lone Ranger is without a doubt the biggest disappointment of all the summer blockbusters this year. It’s a loud, spectacular mess of a film. There is so much wrong with the movie it’s hard to know where to begin…so let‘s start with the uneven and unbalanced tone of the film. Director Gore Verbinski and the writers never made up their minds what kind of a picture they wanted – a Wild West action film, a buddy picture, or a tongue-in-cheek Western romp – so they try to do it all and fail miserably.
Armie Hammer portrays John Reid aka The Lone Ranger as a bumbling idiot through most of the film and Johnny Depp’s Tonto comes across as a mentally unstable descendent of Captain Jack Sparrow. The two actors also have zero chemistry on screen making the movie one of the worst buddy pictures of all time.
The action scenes are dragged out and unimpressive, with not one, not two, but three never-ending train crashes. The bloody massacre of Native American warriors as they attack the villains’ camp is bothersome and overdone.
The Lone Ranger, in short, is an annoying, monotonous and disengaging take on two iconic heroes who deserve much better than this train wreck of a film.
The Lone Ranger opened in theaters on July 3, 2013 and is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some suggestive material.
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