The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger ★★½

A remake/reboot of the famous Western serial of the same name. The Lone Ranger sees Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recount the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice.

A notable box office and critical failure and marred in a significant amount of controversy due to the casting of Johnny Depp as a Native American character. This was released prior to Disney’s ever continuing onslaught of live action remakes and admittedly deserves commendation for being at times a significantly more violent and darker affair than their other properties (aside from the MCU) and very much director Gore Verbinski’s vision. That being said the film is mostly an overlong chore to get through and is drowning in forgettable and generic blockbuster tropes.

Aside from the theme song and “Hi Yo Silver! Away!” I have no knowledge or history with the franchise whatsoever. Outside of iconography and setting, the film really is just a checklist of cliches in terms of character motivations and reveals for this genre. At 2 hours 30 minutes the film is also far too long and really drags during middle section, it is easily could have been 20-30 minutes shorter with the amount of uninteresting and unnecessary aspects thrown in, which ultimately make the film bloated and spread too thin with no time for any substance or character depth or relationships.

Easily the strongest aspects of the film is its action set pieces. The finale train section is an absolute triumph or bombast, slapstick comedy and thrilling choreography, accompanied by that iconic score it easily makes up 1 of the stars for this review by itself. The first train set piece is also impressive, but the film really did save the best until last. The set design and location cinematography also is standout and perfectly captures the time setting. The main theme song is obviously iconic and the rest of the score isn’t bad either.

It is awkwardly ironic and a bit laughable at times with some of the quotes Johnny Depp has to say at times as Tonto, though he does present the bizarre and quirky comedic character well. Armie Hammer essentially is every generic action hero lead with an added comedic sense. The two do have good chemistry though. William Fitchner chews all the scenery as the ruthless Butch Cavendish, though his motivations and tropes are very familiar and Helena Bonham Carter is good as the shotgun false leg wearing Red Harrington, though unfortunately she doesn’t get too much to do.

The Lone Ranger is a slightly above average action Western adventure. The action is impressive and the final train sequence is an undeniable triumph. The set design and production quality is high and the performances are enthusiastic. However the overlong runtime, cliche tropes, large chunks of boring and uninteresting scenes do drag this down and honestly outside of their performances I didn’t really care for any of the characters.

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