The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I'm gonna do my best to try and defend this film. Stay with me please. 🙏

So... why do I love "The Lone Ranger"? Technical stuff aside, all of it's perfect, what is it that I love about this film so much? For one, I actually don't think it's really all that similar to Pirates of the Caribbean, at least in tone. Those films are actually super fun and light hearted for most of their runtime. "The Lone Ranger" on the other hand is the polar opposite. "The Lone Ranger" is actually decently serious in tone compared to Pirates of the Caribbean. It's gritty, it's violent, and it's bold.

Its bizarre nature is part of its charm. It has no qualms with being super niche. People's hearts get eaten out, there are carnivorous rabbits, and trippy dream sequences. I find its odd qualities to be super endearing and help it stand apart from other films, including Pirates. The characters actually get lots of development that I find really investing, especially Tonto who has a really tragic backstory. Tonto has real emotions. There are plenty of moments that are completely devoted to making Tonto a more human character, same goes for John Reed. Even side characters like Red (Helena Bonham Carter) get backstories that are told subtly and through visuals.

Our two protagonists are always growing. And the jokes know when to exist and when not to. In the fire place scene at night for instance. Not. One. Joke. All serious dialogue. Acting like the film has bipolar disorder doesn't make sense to me. Name one straight up serious scene that was interrupted by a joke. I can't recall any.

Again, the film knows when to be serious and when to be funny. You only get the really goofy moments in the action sequences. These moments were obviously supposed to be an homage to silent western films of the past, stuff like Buster Keaton. Tonto has jokes in dialogue scenes, but they're not "goofy". When I think of goofy, I think of slapstick. Someone saying something funny doesn't equal goofy in my eyes.

I even found the romantic stuff interesting, too. I know, I know, don't kill me please. Don't get me wrong, there are waaaaaaaaaayyyyyy better love stories out there. But for what it was trying to accomplish, I think it did a decent job. I cared about Rebecca, Danny, and John. Btw, yes, I actually remember their names. Why? Because I cared. You think I'm gonna sit here and defend a film where I can't even remember the character's names? Hell no.

Is it really that bloated though? I mean... really? If you ask me, "At World's End" is way more bloated than this, which sounds like an insult but I still think that film is a masterpiece. Ask anyone who saw "The Lone Ranger" what the plot was and they'll be able to answer you, because it's not a complicated plot. John Reed's brother is killed by Butch Cavendish. He teams up with Tonto, who also has a personal vendetta against Cavendish, to bring him to justice. BOOM! I just told you the plot in two sentences. Even though "At World's End" is literally in my top 3 favorite films of all time, I would seriously need a whole hour to explain the plot of that film.

The first act does indeed serve a purpose. It sets up John's connection with Dan and Rebecca, and Dan and Tonto's connection with Cavendish. The first act ends when Dan dies. These first 50 minutes do matter and are super important to the plot. This is more of a personal thing, but I don't recall ever being bored. Some might be bored, but I never was. If you found it boring, more power to you, but I sure as hell did not.

Did this film need to be made? No. But did Pirates of the Caribbean need to be made either? NO. Just because something didn't need to be made doesn't mean it doesn't have a right to exist. I love it, and everyone's entitled to their own opinion. If you don't like it, that's 100% okay! Differing opinions make for investing conversations. I just think this film is something really special that was misunderstood at the time, and still is today.

Is it perfect? No. Tonto's narration doesn't need to be there, and it can be a huge turn off for a lot of people because of it's incredibly niche market. But I will always unapollogetically love this film.

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