The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger ★★★

A deconstruction of the Lone Ranger mythology, Gore Verbinski's take on the character acts partly as a revisionist view of Western legends and partly as a traditional appreciation of them, contending they are both equal in significance.

Set piece heavy, constrained by unneeded content ("Nature is out of balance."), and reliant on Western tropes, The Lone Ranger is among the weaker works of Verbinski, Elliott, Rossio, and Depp, but also not the disaster critics make it out to be. Homaging the long history of the genre, all the way from The Great Train Robbery to Once Upon a Time in the West to Little Big Man, the film is about the tradition of the West as myth. Notably, the 1933 scenes with an aged Tonto hazily recollecting the narrative to an idolizing little boy frame the film as a fantasy, a half-remembered, half-aggrandized version of reality. As a motif of watches is prominent in the diegesis, Verbinski is questioning the affect that time and distance from reality have on the validity of history.

In the end, it is up to the viewer to decide whether they can reconcile fact with fiction. Or are they the same?

Also, a long, but well argued defense of The Lone Ranger: vimeo.com/75135278

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