Customer Review

3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hi-yo Silver, NO., September 4, 2013
This review is from: The Lone Ranger (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) (Blu-ray)
Disney's 2013 summer blockbuster hopeful, The Lone Ranger, stars Johnny Depp as the lovable but stoic Tonto and Armie Hammer as John Reid, a bumbling lawyer soon-to-be hero.
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and directed by Gore Verbinski (the same team that brought you the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films), The Lone Ranger follows the story of John Reid and his sidekick Tonto as they gallivant across Texas in 1869...and it's a rough, bloated ride.
Development on The Lone Ranger began in early 2007 but was pushed back due to script rewrites and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides taking priority. The film suffered a large setback in 2011 when Disney announced the film would be delayed due to budget concerns. Gore Verbinski, Armie Hammer, and Johnny Depp all deferred 20% of their salary to help lower the overall cost of the film. Despite their sacrifice, The Lone Ranger cost nearly $215 million to produce and only made $29 million in its first weekend. Yikes.

The Story:
Lawyer John Reid returns to his hometown of Lonesome Dove where his brother is a Texas Ranger. His brother's wife, Rebecca, has a romantic history with John, but they haven't seen each other in years. Railroad tycoon Latham Cole wants to take complete control over a railroad company and a mineral-rich silver mine. He will stop at nothing to achieve his goals even going as far as to shoot one of his board members in the leg. Cole sets a plan up using a murderous lunatic named Butch Cavendish to do his dirty work.
John, his brother, and the rest of the Texas Ranger posse go off to capture Cavendish. All of them are brutally ambushed and murdered except John. Tonto, the Apache Indian, comes to John's rescue, and they set off to get revenge on Cavendish.

The Good:
* Armie Hammer as John Reid/The Lone Ranger.
o Hammer nails the role of John Reid. He's likable and his character arc from zero-to-hero is one of the best parts of the movie.

* The visuals.
o They're absolutely incredible. Flat salt deserts, deep canyons, and massive sunsets give The Lone Ranger the Western feel it needed.

* The last thirty minutes were just astonishing.
o It was everything an adventure/action film should be. One-liners, over the top spectacle, and a humorous exchange at the end made me wonder why they saved the best for last.

The Bad:
* The length.
o This film badly needed an editor to cut the monstrosity that was 149 minutes long. I enjoy long movies. I could watch the extended editions of The Lord of the Rings over and over and not get bored, but something about The Lone Ranger couldn't keep me invested.

* Johnny Depp as Tonto.
o I'm a huge Depp fan. Captain Jack Sparrow is one of the most memorable and likeable characters in recent film history. But Tonto was just weird. Depp's usual quirky character roles didn't fit Tonto in the least. Stick to Captain Jack, please. And as for Tonto, why wasn't a real Native American cast? Oh yeah, we'll get to that in a minute.

* The pacing.
o This goes hand in hand with the length of the film. It just didn't flow well. The romantic subplot between John and his brother's widow was unnecessary. The frame technique of old, wrinkly Tonto telling a little boy the story of The Lone Ranger at a fair in 1933 didn't work well and kept taking me out of the film. Most scenes dragged on and on. By the end you just didn't care how it was going to turn out.

* Humor v. Darkness.
o This film had a real issue balancing its silliness with its darkness. It's a Disney film, so understandably it needs to be lighthearted, right? Six Texas Rangers get ambushed and murdered. A cannibal eats one of their hearts immediately after. Some scenes are just too intense for a fun adventure film. It's too inconsistent with the violence and the gags. The film should be fun, not jarring. See Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl for a Disney movie that handles that balance the right way.

The Ugly:
* The Horse
o Tonto is scene conversing with him several times throughout the film and the horse seemingly communicates back. In a film somewhat grounded in reality, this is where I have a hard time suspending my disbelief for two and a half hours. After a climactic scene in which many Native Americans get slaughtered by the U.S. Calvary, Tonto looks to the sky and the horse is just standing on a tree branch. No mention of the genocide that just took place, just an acrobatic horse joke.

* Tonto again.
o I've already mentioned Johnny Depp's portrayal of Tonto, but can we just talk for a minute about Tonto the character? In the film, Tonto is portrayed as an Apache Indian who covers almost every Native American stereotype in the book. Granted, this film is a Western/Adventure but seriously, did we need the ear-to-the-ground-to-get-directions gag? Tonto also wears a dead bird on his head and feeds crumbs to it that fall to the floor seemingly at random. His catchphrase kemosabe was totally butchered. In the old radio programs that The Lone Ranger was based on, kemosabe meant "loyal scout" or "faithful companion" but in this film, Tonto translates it to mean "wrong brother." What is that?

I'd probably watch The Lone Ranger again if I was bored enough, but I definitely wouldn't pay for it. Hi-yo Silver, go away!
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