Posted by: ckckred | July 11, 2013

The Lone Ranger


Before The Lone Ranger started in my theater, a couple of previews played for Disney.  One of them was an ad for a video game starring many of the studio’s characters.  The commercial featured Jack Sparrow (of Pirates of the Caribbean) meeting and examining Tonto, one of the central characters of The Lone Ranger.

The ad really points out the similarities between the two.  Johnny Depp not only plays both characters, but does the exact same routine for Tonto as Sparrow.  In The Lone Ranger, the movie adaptation of the famed serial, Tonto, the legendary Native American sidekick to the Texas outlaw, talks funny and constantly bickers with others.  Depp’s role as Sparrow worked in the first Pirates movie, but grew tired in the sequels.  In The Lone Ranger, Tonto’s wisecracks almost never hit their target.  Still, Depp is perhaps one of the stronger things in The Lone Ranger, an overly long picture whose two and a half hour running time seems twice that length.

It’s a shame too.  Director Gore Verbinski’s and Johnny Depp’s last collaboration, Rango, was a fun, lively take on the western genre.  The Lone Ranger aspires to do that as well, but comes off as a standard action movie, a serious drama, and a buddy picture.  The Lone Ranger never accomplishes any of these things and feels remarkably uninspired and rather dull.

For those unfamiliar with the serial (myself included), The Lone Ranger is the story of John Reid (Armie Hammer), a lawyer gone off to Texas to work with his brother Dan (James Badge Dale), a Texas ranger.  Things go astray when Dan’s killed by Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner), a cannibalistic criminal whose last name is a few letters away from a copyright infringement.  Suspected to be dead, John takes the disguise as a masked ranger and is accompanied by Tonto (Depp), the goofy Native American.

The Lone Ranger pays homage to a due of westerns and there are multiple homages to films like Once Upon A Time In The West and The Searchers.  But rather than feeling like a tribute to Sergio Leone or John Ford, The Lone Ranger treads its legs tipping comic wisecracks with Native American genocide.  While the film doesn’t have enough gore to merit an R rating, it certainly isn’t suitable for young viewers.  There’s plenty of violence in The Lone Ranger enough to give small ones nightmares, including a scene where Butch eats a man’s heart (a la Temple of Doom), not to mention there are references to prostitution and child endangerment.  I’m not a parent, but I think this is an inappropriate movie for younger audiences.

But what’s wrong with The Lone Ranger isn’t the content but rather the story.  The movie is so dull and predictable that I guessed the major twist about five minutes into the film.  It’s nothing audiences haven’t seen before.  The action scenes and over-the-top CGI get repetitive after a while, and the middle of the film seems to last for days.

There are some strong moments though.  The Lone Ranger’s best scene is the final fight sequence, taking place on two trains to the tune of the William Tell overture.  The excitement and rawness of that scene is what the rest of the film is missing.  I’m unhappy to report that The Lone Ranger is a bore.



  1. Nice review man. I’ve hardly seen a nice word said about this one, seems a bit of a mess.

    • Thanks! The movie is a complete mess, there’s no need in seeing this film.

  2. You’re comments regarding the weak story are pretty consistent with what I’ve read elsewhere. One of our guys at Let There Be Movies is reviewing this in a couple days and I think he liked it so I’m interested to see the contrast. Good points too about the similarities in Sparrow and Tonto. I was worried about that.

    • Thanks! The movie is pretty sloppy and boring.

  3. Huge disappointment and deserving of its flop status. I loved the old Clayton Moore series but this thing sucked.

    • Thanks for the comment. Completely agree, the movie was a mess.

  4. Even the trailers look bad, no interest whatsoever except to witness first hand its stupidity.

    • Thanks for the comment. You won’t miss anything by skipping this. It was an enormous bore.

  5. Nice review. It’s so boring, so joyless, and so long, that I just stopped caring after awhile. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem like I’m all that alone in that boat.

    • Thanks! Yeah, it’s a pretty big bore and I didn’t even care about any of the characters at all.

  6. That’s a shame this didn’t deliver. I love all the people involved.

    • Thanks for the comment. Yeah, there were some talented people involved but sadly this was no Rango.

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