Movie Review: The Lone Ranger

The Lone RangerTitle: “The Lone Ranger”

Director: Gore Verbinski

Writers: Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio

Stars: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner

My review: 1 out of 5 stars

Oh, I have been dreading having to write this one, mostly because I don’t want to experience this movie again, even through memory.

The Lone Ranger began in 1933 on the radio, and has evolved through various media to finally arrive on Disney’s shores with this so-called movie. Except that this isn’t really a “Lone Ranger” movie. In reality, the story is told from a San Francisco fair in 1933 by an aged Tonto to a young boy. This is an origin story, and a poor one at that. You see, our Lone Ranger isn’t really a Ranger at all, but is deputized at the last minute to help track down the Butch Cavendish gang. After they’re betrayed and nearly all killed, Tonto (who has been tracking Cavendish and calls him the Wendigo) finds the bodies but discovers that John Reid is still alive. But Reid turns out to be pretty much a buffoon, and Tonto has to train him to be a hero, or at least appear like one.

This is more a Tonto movie than anything else, and it has a whole host of other problems than just the film’s title. First, the buffoonery isn’t funny. It’s not. Secondly, the jokes are timed so poorly that it’s awkward rather than funny. For instance, the horse Silver behaves weirdly throughout the movie. After we witness a huge massacre and the Lone Ranger and Tonto are sitting near the aftermath trying to think of a plan, they turn to find the horse standing in a tree wearing a hat. Tonto remarks, “Something very wrong with that horse.” It’s not funny! The number one rule in comedy is timing. We just witnessed a huge massacre and everything is played to where the audience is supposed to feel sad and hurt by all these deaths. Then they crack a joke! No! Just no!

It’s not until the last 15 to 20 minutes that it finally becomes a Lone Ranger movie, but even then there are problems. Like Gore Verbinski’s other films, the action is random and physical laws don’t apply. Things are happening all over the place, we’re not sure where people are, and everything works purely out of convenience to move the action along. Rather than looking cool, it looks ridiculous, like some kind of live-action cartoon.

Aside from these technicals, the movie is boring and way too long at nearly two and a half hours. It should have been trimmed down at least 40 mintues. And it’s telling that we end the movie with watching Johnny Depp as an aging Tonto walking through the desert during the credits. That’s it. This isn’t a build up to anything. It’s just him walking into the distance across the desert because that’s much more exciting than having the credits roll on a black screen.

I’m going to give myself an aneurysm if I have to keep talking about how bad this movie was. I’m giving it one star instead of only half a star because I can tell that the filmmakers at least tried, even if it didn’t work at all. There was definitely effort put into this movie, but it can and should be skipped. Seriously, don’t bother with this one.

“The Lone Ranger” earns 1 out of 5 stars.

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