Film review: The Lone Ranger

Posted in Film, Reviews
By Sam Bathe on 9 Aug 2013

In the run up to it’s release in the UK, star Johnny Depp and producer Jerry Bruckheimer have spoken ill of the press, claiming they were “gunning” for the movie long before it hit theatres, and that their bad reviews and extreme prejudice were the reason Disney are likely to take a $150m hit on The Lone Ranger. But they’re wrong, it’s because the movie stinks.

Based on the radio series of the same name, The Lone Ranger charts the start of an unexpected partnership between Native American spirit warrior Tonto and by the books lawman-turned-masked vigilante crimefighter John Reid. On the tail of the notorious criminal Butch Cavendish, Reid is left for dead only to be saved by Tonto at the insistence of a mysterious white spirit horse. Begrudgingly thrust together, the pair uncover the real reason Cavendish was broken out of capture and must work in tandem to fight for what’s right and take down the mastermind behind it all.

While Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp put in decent performances and their on-screen charisma should certainly be complimented, The Lone Ranger is a very messy film that struggles from the opening scene. With the plot jumping this way and that, it feels like the film is deciding where to go next on a whim, rather than it following one cohesive narrative.

Written by Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, you won’t be surprised the latter two are best know for their works on the Pirates films and this shares the same lack of focus and structural issues that left those movies so stuttery.

The final showdown, however, is when The Lone Ranger really capitulates, crossing a line into the unforgivably ridiculous. A remarkably long battle across two trains side-by-side could have been the movie’s pièce de résistance, but backed by the William Tell Overture it quickly turns into a joke, with slapstick and incredibly predictable action.

For a while now Johnny Depp’s star power has been on the wane and this is just one more to forget for the falling star. This review wasn t written “7 or 8 months ago”, it was written in the theatre. Place a terrible film in front of a room full of critics and, odds are, most of them aren’t going to like it.


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