The Lone Ranger – A Review

August 30, 2013 2:54 pm

Reportedly, Disney had lost faith in ‘The Lone Ranger’ during the production stages. Despite having Johnny Depp to play the iconic character Tonto, and Director Gore Verbinski of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ fame, the outlook of this film was not all that promising.

If you go into this film with low expectations, you might actually enjoy it for what it is. It is a homage to old westerns with a modern day cinematic feel and a slightly interesting tale to tell – despite not reaching the script’s full potential. But for those not aware of the problems that have plagued this film, and are sincerely looking forward to some classic Disney magic; disappointment might be on the cards.

Beginning as a 1930’s radio play and moving with the times to TV land in the 1950’s, ‘The Lone Ranger’ is an all time classic piece of entertainment. Now 2013 and it is time for that inevitable reboot that comes with all great franchises. What ‘The Lone Ranger’ becomes is essentially a new western. With sprawling Wild West Landscapes captured by beautiful wide shots and a Spaghetti Western style score, coupled with amazing production design and cinematography, what could go wrong?

There are several issues with this movie. But what seems to be the biggest thorn in ‘The Lone Rangers’ side is that it never seems clear as to what the film is trying to be. It has a lot of ambition and it shows with its two hours and twenty minutes run time. But with all that time to tell a story, it felt all a bit jumbled. It feels as if they tried to pack in both a good old classic Western romp with the buddy cop genre, alongside high-budget action scenes whilst trying to maintain a soulful feel to it. It seemed so overloaded with different elements that not even Gore Verbinski – who is best known for directing fantastically epic films, could keep the balance together.

Casting is an odd choice here too, as we see Johnny Depp paired with Armie Hammar, who plays the namesake character – the Lone Ranger. What is odd about it is that they have zero chemistry with each other. Hammar wonders around looking vacant for the most part whilst Depp reels off the painful one-liners that are peppered throughout the script. Both sounded unconvincing with their dialogue, almost like they were merely talking, but not to each other. It started to feel like the casting of Jonny Depp was made solely to have the ‘Johnny Depp’ name on the billing, and not because he was a suitable match for Hammar.

The story had a lot of intrigue but not a great climax. Plot holes left a lot of loose ends in the story. Leaving you with a finale that asks more questions than gives you answers. There was a lot of talk and screen time for the ‘spirit horse’ in the film, but the importance never seems to be explained. Also, the plot becomes overly confusing in the third act with a conspiracy plot device involving a railroad. But this is so convoluted it is hard to gauge what it’s all about. The film does close with some exciting action sequences. But this is maybe to help us forget about the preceding mess that was made of the film.

Overall, Depp and Hammar’s casting was ultimately ineffective and did little to give any charm to a film that is desperately flawed. Verbinski deserves credit for paying respect to the classic Westerns of the past, but that cannot make up for the lack of focus that plagues this film. Those who are diehard fans of Johnny Depp and live-action Disney films should give this ago. Many others may feel let down by the hype.

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