The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger ★★★★★

Okay....by far and away one of the best films to come out of Hollywood in recent years. I was prepared for the capitalist/manifest destiny critique going in - but still so surprised at how deftly and full of feeling it was handled - resembles Gomes' Tabu almost in how everything in the "background" is really in the foreground (referring here to its Native American characters)...structurally I thought it was so brilliant - the framing story is one of the best I've seen in any movie! How it returns to the literal frame itself that Tonto is standing in, him positioned behind a rock, turned away from the camera, so on - mimicking the position he is in in the main story - we lose ourself in the child's imagination as Tonto performs - illustration of the act of storytelling. Depp is frankly, better than I've ever seen him - a true physical performer & comedian, with some of the best visual gags I've seen in contemporary film outside of the Farrelly brothers.

Of course, I have to mention all the nods to Ford here, other than the obvious Monument Valley setting. But it's all over this movie - The Searchers (John's love for his brothers wife, the attack on the house and its aftermath), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John believes in the law, says Cavendish will go to trial, Tonto sees through the fakery of dictum & hands John a gun), and most surprisingly Cheyenne Autumn (the Cheyenne attack followed by their massacre, perhaps the movies most powerful moment) Still, with this latter portion excepted, I found this more charming than interesting, leading me to another admission-

Other than really appreciating that this film had the bravery to parody revisionism, I have to admit I actually wasn't fully enthralled until the movies final 45 minutes! But it's not so much that I thought the movie simply **got better** in those later moments insomuch that things began to 'click,' moments which made little sense to me or which I thought were extrenous suddenly synched up - even if I was almost bored at times, its also because of this that I can't wait to see the movie again. It's also so sophisticated in how it handles comedy - SO Fordian! One moment impossibly tragic, the other impossibly absurd immediately after. It's affecting precisely because of how jarring it is. And it certainly has the best, most moving 'post-credits' sequence I have ever seen. As it ran and the credits kept scrolling, I found myself thinking - "Wow...these people should be proud of themselves. " Why is so much cinema, not just in America, but everywhere, forgetting about our Aboriginal brothers?

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