The Lone Ranger / by Krista Boivie

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Running Time: 2 hours 29 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Synopsis:

Newly minted District Attorney John Reid (Armie Hammer) decides to return to his hometown of Colbie, Texas and join his brother, legendary Texas Ranger Dan Reid (James Badge Dale) to help bring justice to the Wild West. When notorious outlaw Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner) escapes custody on his way to trial, Dan deputizes John as a Ranger and they lead a posse to track down Cavendish and his gang. The Rangers are betrayed by one of their own, ambushed in the desert and cut down by gunfire. 

A mystical Commanche warrior, Tonto (Johnny Depp) finds the bodies of the slain Rangers and while giving them a proper burial, discovers that John is still barely clinging to life. Tonto believes that this means that John has been saved by the Great Spirit for a great purpose and Tonto decides to join him on his quest to bring Cavendish and his co-conspirators to justice. Wearing a mask and assuming the identity of the Lone Ranger, John sets forth to avenge his brother but realizes that the killing of the Rangers was only a small part of a larger plot that will affect everyone in Texas.

Scott’s Review:

In the weeks leading up to its release I had slowly and gradually talked myself into being optimistic about The LoneRanger. Having been a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, I thought that the re-teaming of director GoreVerbinski and star Johnny Depp might make this a fun and rollicking adventure. It did not. The Lone Ranger is at least a half hour too long, and you feel every single second of it. There is a good action sequence at the beginning and another at the end, but in between, the movie sags like an old mattress. Along with the aforementioned action sequences, which are impressively staged on a pair of moving trains, Depp’s oddball portrayal of Tonto is one of the film’s few bright spots. Without Tonto’s deadpan humor, The Lone Ranger is nearly unwatchable.

Chief among the film’s failings is Armie Hammer as John Reid. Hammer looks like a leading man, but he doesn’t possess the magnetism or charisma of a real movie star. It may be that he has just been rushed into the spotlight and hasn’t been allowed to develop enough as an actor before having the weight of a big-budget blockbuster dropped on his shoulders. For the second summer in a row Disney has pushed all of its chips into the center of the table and bet on a young actor making the leap from ensemble actor to franchise centerpiece and much like with TaylorKitsch in last year’s John Carter, they have not only lost a lot of money, but they may have torpedoed a young actor’s career. The Lone Ranger is boring, convoluted and my least favorite movie of the summer so far. D

Krista's Review: 

The Lone Ranger was not a movie I was excited to see, and unfortunately I didn't enjoy it all that much.  Initially, I was upset at the casting decision of Johnny Depp as Tonto.  I believe minority roles should be played by minorities. However, Johnny Depp was more amusing and quirky than I had anticipated, and he was the real standout in the movie. I also enjoyed the action sequences, and found the staging of the train fights interesting and inventive.  

I agree with Scott that Armie Hammer should be more of a star, but he is missing the charm that real leading man have. Although I believe his role was miscast he was not the biggest disappointment for me.  The clunky and tonally inconsistent story was the largest disappointment.  The filmmakers spend too much time explaining everyone and everything and in so doing give the movie zero emotional heart.  The movie is excessively too long, confusing and ultimately a movie I will never see a second time. C-