on August 29, 2013
I wondered why so many gave this movie a negative review when I really like this movie so I read those reviews and I'd like to address some of the more confusing aspects to the story.
First the disclaimers: 1). If one goes to the super market and shops for steak and only brings home cheese, then one is diss-appointed, but if one goes for cheese and brings home some of the best cheese out there then they should feel elated. When you see this movie expect over the top action, funny sequences and a modern retake of the original interplay between the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Don't expect this to be a somber tribute or the old TV series and you'll be able to enjoy it for what it is.
2). I'm only part native but I have been asked "What tribe are you from?" by perfect strangers before I've had the chance to speak more than three words to them.
There are plenty of reviews praising this movie and some reviews which don't understand certain things. I can't shed light on everything, but let me shed light on why this movie is deeper than what most people suspect.
I've been subjected to a lot of the myths and the stories from the drum circles and the dream keepers and I can shed some light on the oddities in this movie.
Here's some things to keep in mind while watching this movie:
Johnny Depp showed a deep sadness and a deep madness (part of being manic depressive) - Most Native Americans can say they lost a relative who died of the depression. The spirit sickness. Sometimes those who get overcome by the depression spend half their time laughing and cracking jokes and half their time wishing to die. Their minds only maintain balance if they are forced to focus on something important in their daily life. Tonto also shows hints of being an untrained shaman (as in one who didn't apprentice under an elder) and as such may be seen as just crazy even by other natives. Part of the mysticism is the balance between doubt and belief and the movie doesn't make the choice for you.
The fact that this movie doesn't spell things out for people and challenges people with the "absurd" is a good thing in my opinion as it can get people to ask questions and to explore things. The movie presents a few mysteries which are always good and I think attempts to persuade people to research Native American culture which is also good. Here are a few things which pertain to the movie.
- Medicine men of many tribes may tell you that the power of the spirit can transcend time and space... pay attention to the bag of peanuts when you watch this movie, you'll see that this is touched upon.
- The term Wendigo is used to address one of the characters in the movie and it does refer to an evil spirit/alternate form of a human being... it is caused by cannibalism and both silver and boiling fat have been attributed as being weaknesses to it (by pouring boiling fat down it's throat or wounding it with silver).
- The Spirit Horse is spirit made flesh and it can show up where it wants and when it wants.
- When nature is out of balance, the spirit world (the Hunting Grounds) are like a reflection to the real world, evil and dark spirits can take hold of or poison the thoughts and behaviors of animals in the real world. From [...] when an individual is out of balance "the individual experiences sickness. While this might be a physical illness, it might also manifest itself as a psychosis." Though that passage spoke about people the same principals are applied to animals.
Now onto the movie: The banter between the Lone Ranger (LR) and Tonto was awesome and reminiscent of the original series (though with a more modern looser sense of what is tolerable or not). Though it is a bit more lop-sided here (yeah Tonto shows a sharper and quicker wit than the LR, but the way Armie Hammer portrayed LR doesn't show a veteran but someone who will become the legendary Lone Ranger ... i.e. think Batman: Year One etc.).
Some of the action scenes were a bit over the top and slap stick in nature, but the film doesn't dwell on these or offer them up in awkward sequences - everything seemed to fit together with great pacing.
The themes showed in the movie weren't aimed at children: LR's unrequited love of his brother's wife, cannibalism, and a major battle scene all justify the PG-13 rating.
The lighting helped set the mood and the photography was great.
The music and sound were a bit too old school Disney family fun initially and was distracting for about the first twenty minutes of the movie, but afterwards actually helped set the mood, pacing and overall theme. (Which is a great job since people do tend to have different musical tastes - in my opinion it would have been slightly better to have the music set initially at a lower volume and then set to gradually ramp back up).
It was definitely a treat to watch. The acting from both male leads was highly entertaining. I paid for my ticket to get entertained and to see an adventure and I got what I paid for.
on July 1, 2013
We were fortunate enough to have seen a sneak preview of "The Lone Ranger" at the theatre on the military base where we live, and my family really enjoyed it. We had a great time. In fact, judging from the reactions of the packed house, everyone there was having a great time.
Johnny Depp was, in my opinion, wonderful as a slightly edgy Tonto. His comedic and dramatic timing were right on target, and his interpretation of Tonto -- as he was written for this movie -- was well done. The same can be said for Armie Hammer in the lead role. We watched his character evolve into The Lone Ranger in a remarkably believable manner. The character was definitely different when compared at the beginning and ending of the movie. We thought that the concept of Silver, and from where he came, was creative and added well to the story. There was a LOT of laughter, cheering and even some booing (at the villains). The line between the good guys and the bad guys was boldly drawn in the desert sand, and the audience reacted well. There were tragic parts that were so sad that I could have heard a pin drop.
Was it a cinematic masterpiece? No.
Were there overly long, boring parts? Yes, two to be exact.
Was the love story epic? Nope.
Were some parts predictable? Yes.
Was the movie true to the '50's tv show? No... and thank goodness. It was clearly not meant to be identical to the series, instead trying to bring a new twist to an old favorite. I think it paid homage in a grand fashion, and stayed true to itself at the same time.
Basically, if you like movies that have light-hearted humor, sarcasm, some (somewhat brutal) violence, good vs evil, and two pleasing-to-the-eyes heroes, then this is an enjoyable 2+ hours. There were children of all ages present, and they all seemed to love it. Recommended!
on July 5, 2013
This movie has been getting really bad reviews. My son wanted to see it so I went in with really low expectations. It should have been a complete disaster and a waste of 2 1/2 hours based on the reviews I read. It's not! I'm not even certain some of the critics had even seen the movie based on what I read. I'm not sure what the original story of the Lone Ranger was, but this movie creates a very good back story. Despite it's length, it moves a long quickly and has a lot of humor. Even though Johnny Depp gets top billing, this IS about the Lone Ranger. Yes, Tonto is more important than he was in the old TV series, but how could he not be? The story is told as Tonto tells it to a young boy. He may or may not be the most reliable story teller, but that's part of what makes it fun.
on July 8, 2013
I grew up with "The Lone Ranger" and even met Clayton Moore during a promotional tour in the mid 1950s. I was afraid Hollywood might have screwed this all up. "The Lone Ranger" production is a creative, respectful, and cared for tour de force. Despite some of the Amazon reviewers who did not like the film, the acting, locations, script, and direction are all over the top. The use of humor is well selected and is NOT disrespectful to the television show. This film is quite special and well worth seeing and owning. Hans Zimmer has created another fabulous score. Some of the comments by critics in the newspapers are living proof that these are critics without an ability to relate to the tradition of these two characters. How tragic. I walked out of the theatre feeling I got my money's worth and as you know, that is rarely a typical reaction these days. Unlike some of the critics, I could care less that Depp is not a native American.
on September 1, 2013
I don't know why the critics had it out for this movie. I went and saw this film with my parents thinking it may actually be good and I was not disappointed. Don't listen to idiots that get paid to find reasons to hate films for whatever reason. Just see it for yourself and keep an open mind.
on January 7, 2014
I don't care about the bad reviews this movie received so you probably shouldn't care about mine I guess.
I think this is a great movie and when the Lone Ranger movie music started....awesome. Depp is a ton of fun as Tonto.....
With "Pirates of the Caribbean" director Gore Verbinski and actor Johnny Depp on the job, no one should have expected 2013's "The Lone Ranger" to be a straight retelling of the 1960's television series. "The Lone Ranger" is an over the top reboot that mixes funny, dramatic and mysterious in uneven proportions. This reviewer saw it with an audience that laughed out loud at some of the funny parts and cheered when the Lone Ranger rode to the rescue in the finale.
The story is told by an aged Tonto to a wide-eyed young boy in a Lone Ranger costume. Extended flashbacks provide an origin for Tonto, a Comanche alienated from his tribe, and for John Reid, a lawyer who returns to his Texas hometown just in time to be deputized as a Ranger and ride into a lethal ambush with his brother. John (Armie Hammer) survives the ambush, thanks to a mysterious white horse and to Tonto (Johnny Depp in spirit warrior garb), who believes the Ranger will be his companion in a quest for justice. The Ranger will require some persuasion from Tonto to take on that role, as the two face a vicious outlaw gang and some corrupt officials. At stake, among other things, is the fate of John's sister in law (and former girlfriend) and her son.
The movie has some spectacular action sequences, and there is a solid supporting cast. It does run long, and some of the gags are hit or miss. The tone of the movie veers between comedy and drama and farce; a promising love story doesn't come to anything. Recommended as an afternoon's entertainment, as long as you aren't expecting a traditional Lone Ranger story.
on July 16, 2013
It seems to me that critics had a vendetta against this movie even before it hit the theater. With their pithy and scathing remarks about how bad or boring they think it was, viewers are assuming that it's not worth seeing and then never formulate their own opinion on it. I for one found it to be one of the most enjoyable movies of the year. There is very little CGI used which is refreshing after all the movies we've seen lately that seem hell bent on seeing just how much of the film can be created on a computer. The stunts are real, the train wrecks are real, and the scenery is beautiful as it was shot in the Southwestern states (Utah, Arizona, Texas, California, New Mexico, and Colorado.) Armie Hammer is very charming actor and I hope to see him in more things. He made a wonderful Lone Ranger, starting out as a man of the law before realizing how corrupt the world can be and turning outlaw. Johnny Depp was fun to watch as Tonto. He has the remarkable ability to be both goofy and nonsensical and then turn around into someone who is deadly serious about what needs to be done. The supporting cast all did a wonderful job as well. When I watch movies I try to imagine the cast filming scenes and interacting with one another and The Lone Ranger feels like a movie that the actors all had a great time filming. That kind of camaraderie presents itself and makes a difference in the end. I loved this movie and is one of my top three favorites this summer. I looked forward to it for a long time and I for one was not disappointed at all. I am genuinely sad, in fact, that The Lone Ranger didn't do better at the box office and get better reviews. I can say however that the people I've talked to who have seen it absolutely loved it. This proves to me that some movie viewers are too dependent on critic reviews and won't take the time to see the movie and determine what they think of it for themselves. I hope that it does well with DVD/Blu Ray sales and that perhaps it will pick up a bit at the box office. I was hoping that we might get a Lone Ranger 2 someday. Fingers crossed :)
on September 5, 2013
I am really shocked to have seen all the negative reviews about this movie. Is is Oscar worthy? No, but it is fully entertaining the whole way through. My whole family of 7, ranging from ages 40 to 7, loved every minute of it. It was full of laughs and action and never seemed to lag. Now, I do agree that Johnny Depp's Tonto is almost another iteration of Jack Sparrow from POTC movies, but it was still engaging and fun. Even my teenage daughters thought it was very good. We all watched it right after seeing Man of Steel and we all agreed that Lone Ranger was far more entertaining than the Superman reboot.
If you want to watch something that will entertain the entire family and not worry about every technical aspect and flaw that the so-called critics keep hammering on, then you will enjoy it. Not the most original storyline or greatest dialogues in film, but it has its own charm and is definately worth seeing. I could overanalyze the film and try to pick it apart, but that is not what I am paid to do. I go to movies to simply enjoy a story and be taken on an adventure. This film entertained and took me on a 2 1/2 hour adventure that I definately would recommend. I also plan to purchase this as soon as it is released.
on July 26, 2014
Unfairly maligned even before it hit movie screens, THE LONE RANGER is wall-to-wall fun and adventure, with some sobering history lessons thrown in for good measure. Obviously it's a labor of love for all involved, especially director Gore Verbinski and star Johnny Depp. Depp channels not only the great Jay Silverheels in his Tonto, but also Buster Keaton's stone-faced physical comedy. Verbinski gets to do his tribute to Sergio Leone's ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST in his opening railroad station scenes, using long duster coats, closeups of wonderful faces, shadows and light, and that unmistakable guitar sound evoking classic Ennio Morricone. Marvelous stuff. The entire cast has so much fun with their larger than life roles, from Armie (The Social Network, J. Edgar) Hammer's John Reid, who grows from an idealistic yet naive lawyer to the avenging angel behind the mask, to William (The Dark Knight, The Perfect Storm) Fichtner, virtually unrecognizable under the makeup of very, very bad guy Butch Cavendish, to Tom (Batman Begins, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) Wilkinson as another very bad guy named Latham Cole, to Helena Bonham (Sweeney Todd, Harry Potter) Carter as a lady of the evening with a whalebone leg, to the entire group. Special mention must be made of James Badge Dale, Ruth Wilson and Saginaw Grant who all three make their smaller roles memorable. There are buffalo by the thousands, two trains chasing each other, scorpions, a beautiful white Spirit Horse, a battle between Native Americans and U.S. Soldiers (with the good guy/bad guy roles reversed), the Texas Rangers, and a rifle housed in a very odd place. Not to mention a bird which may or may not have passed over the rainbow bridge. See it, and evaluate for yourself beyond the hype. Hi, yo, Silver! Away!