Esteban Gonzalez’s review published on Letterboxd:
"There come a time, when good man must wear mask."
Teaming up Gore Verbinski with Johnny Depp and several others from the crew that brought us The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise seemed like a great idea for The Lone Ranger, but unfortunately the magic was gone here in what is in my opinion the biggest disappointment in the Summer box office this year. The film was a huge failure for the following reasons: I don't tend to complain about long movies, but this film felt to drag forever with so many unnecessary elements and so many senseless action scenes. The lead roles were disappointing despite how much I love Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, but I think the main issue had to do with the screenplay. They made the Lone Ranger look like such a weak and silly character that it was really hard to sympathize with him. Johnny Depp plays his silly self once again and I think he goes a little to overboard with the wackiness of his character. It works sometimes (like it did with John Sparrow), but here it fails. The comedy in this film didn't really work either, I found most of the jokes a bit recycled. As much as I wanted to enjoy this movie, I couldn't manage to get hooked with the story or its characters. The only moments were I felt moved was during the climatic action scene at the end where they used the familiar soundtrack of the TV series. The nostalgic factor appealed to me there, but it wasn't enough. At the end my favorite character ended up being the horse, Silver. That sort of sums it all.
As for the plot, fans of the series will be familiar with the story. Johnny Depp is Tonto, a Comanche during the late 1800's, who is narrating the story of his encounter with the Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer) to a little boy (Mason Elston Cook) who finds him at a museum. Tonto explains how he ran into this man through a series of flashbacks. He basically finds John Reid (the Lone Ranger) dead after he and seven other Texas Rangers were ambushed by the fugitive, Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner) and his gang. Tonto believes that John is a Spirit Walker and that he's been chosen by the white spirit horse to bring justice back to the land. That explains why John is alive and Tonto convinces him to wear the mask and become the Lone Ranger. Together they decide to bring Cavendish to justice and restore order to the west. Tom WIlkinson, Ruth Wilson, Helena Bonham Carter, James Badge Dale, and Barry Pepper all play supporting roles.
I'm a fan of westerns and enjoy the cinematography these films usually have. Many people have said that the genre is dying, but there have been some exceptional westerns lately. I hope The Lone Ranger isn't the film that ends up definitely burying the genre, because it does everything wrong here. First of all the macho hero is missing; with all the action this film desperately needed one! Despite the great cinematography the film felt as dry as the desert scenes. There were so many unnecessary subplots going on that the film seemed to diverge and go into all directions. It just felt really chaotic and it is a pity because I really wanted to like The Lone Ranger for what the character has meant to past generations. Unfortunately this was an unnecessarily long pointless film. You might be better off if you just wait and watch the final 15 minutes of the film that actually feel more like the TV series.