Quickie: The Lone Ranger

the-lone-ranger-posterNative 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.

3 pigeons

3/5 pigeons

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29 thoughts on “Quickie: The Lone Ranger

  1. ckckred says:

    Nice review. You liked this more than myself, but we both agree that the middle is overlong and bloated.

  2. vinnieh says:

    Nice post, I’m curious to see this as it has been accorded a mixed reception.

  3. theipc says:

    Looks awful! That being said, I am sure the wife and I will watch it when it comes out on VOD…

  4. Looks like we share a similar opinion. I saw it as a missed opportunity as it could have been far better. That said it certainly had its moments. Great review as always!

  5. It seemed like it could never figure out what kind of movie it was supposed to be. Magical Realism? Realistic? I was bored most of the way through it and am tired of Johnny Depp roles where he wears makeup.

    • Definitely agree that it doesn’t really know what kind of film it wants to be. Like I say, I’m not really sure what its target audience is supposed to be. I thought Depp was really good but it’s not a new role for him, there is an element of playing it safe for him.

  6. CMrok93 says:

    Way too long for its own good, and also, just way too damn boring and slow. I know a lot of people will probably say that my criticism is “immature” and “stupid”, but so be it! This movie blew and I hope we never get a sequel to it! There! I’m done! Good review.

  7. sati says:

    I think I’m gonna check it out on DVD for lovely Ruth Wilson. I wish Depp challenged himself more in his recent roles.

  8. keith7198 says:

    You liked it more than I did. I found it to be flat out boring. Huge issues with tone and a wooden performance from Hammer. The ridiculous over-the-top ending did save it a bit though.

  9. I thought the ending was good fun, it was definitely the best part of the film. Definitely agree about Hammer. I always thought that role was supposed to be heroic but he was mostly a complete tool. It was definitely more about Tonto, which isn’t surprising with Depp in the role.

  10. Tom says:

    Man this is a great and more than reasonable interpretation of this film and its effect having transformed a popular tv show into a silver screen “big deal.” I’m with you in that I really did enjoy parts throughout but I did get bored as well. I didn’t think Depp was as good here as he is as Jack Sparrow, but I guess that’s a dumb standard to hold since it pretty much can’t be beaten! 🙂 That said, he was certainly the most entertaining part of the film. Armie Hammer really stunk up the joint though, which plummeted my review for it. haha

    • Thanks Tom! Glad I’m not the only one who didn’t absolutely hate this! There aren’t many of us! There are some big problems with it though, like it needed some serious editing and, as you say, Armie Hammer is pretty terrible!

  11. Tyson Carter says:

    Why wont Depp do more Donnie Brasco style films. God damn Tim Burton and these Disney movies, ruining his mojo 🙂

  12. karamelkinema says:

    i think the studio decision to made it into a more PG movie to appeal for a wider demographic also made the movie felt dumbed down. I had a few laughs and think the movie is okay, not as fun as the first Pirates tho. Verbinski and Disney must learn not to repeat the same formula twice, to be honest. Depp need a decent role!! D:

    • Good point, I agree with that about dumbing the film down. There were actually remnants of a deeper plot there but it never really explored it. The studio obviously just thought they could re-skin Pirates but it doesn’t hit those heights.

  13. ruth says:

    I haven’t seen this one yet but I might give it a rent, Chris. Depp’s the main draw for me as he looks hilarious in the trailer. It’s a bit off-putting though that they blamed the critics for this movie’s flop, I mean come on!

    • It’s probably worth a rent if you want something light hearted, Ruth. Just don’t go expecting anything amazing. As for blaming critics, that’s just ridiculous. Maybe they should focus on making a better movie than pointing fingers. I do think critics have been a little harsh but to say they’re to blame just makes them look stupid.

  14. table9mutant says:

    Hmm. Good review. I wasn’t planning on watching this at all after reading some awful reviews but maybe it’s a “renter”.

  15. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not wriying all that over again.
    Anyways, just wanted to say excellent blog!

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