The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger ★★★★

Major "I was wrong" vibes on this one. I do still think the Depp casting clashes horribly with the film's otherwise refreshing insistence on foregrounding the erasure of natives from both the real and mythologized West, yet another instance of Verbinski using a Disney blockbuster to both highlight the marginalization of undesirables throughout history while contributing to it. But this is still pure Verbinski: opulent and iconic even as it tears down iconography, possessed of a genuine sense of comic timing that is so frequently lost in movies of this scale (or reduced to Whedonesque bon mots). Its action is fluid and, in the end, overwhelming, all while feeding directly into its themes. Why this put an end to the Armie Hammer as star experiment is ridiculous to me; he radiates charm and classic Hollywood goodness while proving that his sense of comedy he showed in The Social Network wasn't just a fluke of Sorkinesque smarm. A western that still prints the legend, but involves much more of the truth than was previously integrated.