Native American Tonto (Johnny Depp) stumbles upon outlaw John Reid (Armie Hammer) at Death’s door and together they try to track down the villainous fugitive Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner) and bring him to justice.
When Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp gave us Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003, it was a lot of fun but deteriorated in quality with each subsequent sequel. Verbinski and Depp have teamed up again for this big screen adaptation of the much-loved TV show and are clearly hoping a familiar formula will be enough to draw in the crowds.
See, Johnny Depp’s Tonto is essentially Captain Jack Sparrow of the Wild West, which does give the film a slightly too familiar feel to it. Having said that. Depp’s performance is brilliant and probably the best thing about the film, which itself is fun but bloated and drawn out. Armie Hammer also never seems comfortable in the titular role, often playing second fiddle to his Native American partner.
We’re treated to impressive action sequences at the beginning and end of the film, but these bookend a rather dull middle section that tries to add more depth to the story, only to succeed in losing any focus it had. It’s difficult to see where The Lone Ranger will find its target audience – too long for most children (and probably most others) but too silly for many adults.
For all its foibles, The Lone Ranger isn’t a complete write off, despite what many critics have said. There is some fun to be had in the set pieces and Depp’s Tonto should raise a few giggles, even if the inconsistent pacing and bloated run time stop it being any more than your average summer blockbuster.