This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
zuhair vazir’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
"Never Take Off the Mask" is the tagline to "The Lone Ranger". I think it is more than just that; it is a direct message to Armie Hammer, who does not listen. Lawyers usually don't, but then they also don't wear masks and save the Wild West from a politician who has been stealing from the Natives and the settlers for the longest time and now it's time somebody stopped them from taking over the worl... The Wild West, without Kevin Klein and Will Smith (thank goodness).
We (the one's pushing Forty) all know what the Lone Ranger was, back in the Fifties, the lone survivor of the massacre of a cavalry of Texas Rangers, brought back to life/health by a mysterious American Indian, who REMAINED to be his sidekick for the 217 episodes until Jay Silverheels (Tonto) went back to his Mohawk tribe in Canada, in 1957.
No one dared upstage the Lone Ranger. Even Tonto appeared for the first time in the 11th episode of the "The Lone Ranger" radio show (1933), almost as an afterthought or to bring 'Reid' to life.
Oops, I just took his name, which was a no no back in the day.
Gore Verbinski does not only cast Johnny Depp as Tonto, but he has the wickedest sense of humour by placing Armie Hammer (Mirror Mirror, 2012) bang in the middle of acting baddies like Helena Bonham Carter (a great mileage, brothel madam with a foot made of ivory), Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner and to top it all the (little known) Lone Ranger is paired with a Hollywood giant, Depp.
Yes, Depp is making all the wrong choices recently but that is Depp, his best friends are Tim Burton and Keith Richards - what the fuck did you expect? The actor can burn out but the eccentric will never go away.
In one shot when The Lone Ranger and Tonto enter a bank, Armie Hammer is towering and almost dwarfs the man with an obsession for whacky and brilliant make-up and costume - despite that, Depp manages to upstage Hammer. I mean there is no rocket science to this, only the (puzzling to some) casting of Hammer as the man who saved the West throughout the 30's all the way to the 1960's and then some more. Nonetheless, here the kemosabe is just that: The 'Wrong Brother'.
"The Lone Ranger" is more of an inverted version of recorded History and a statement made by Gore Verbinski and by the the mixed ancestry of two races' - that makes the beautiful actor part Native American and perfect for this part.
The film bombed. Alright, and?
The critics had everything bad to say about the film like the feature not building on the character of 'The Lone Ranger' and instead focusing more on the back-story of Tonto, complete to an ancient 'trade' scene, whose interjection during the 149 minutes of film becomes highly hilarious.
With jaw dropping and insanely executed action sequences that resemble a certain film about Pirates, a distended plot, plenty metaphors and the aberrant mood of the film, the critics literally shot it multiple times from the waist. Not all but the one's who matter (sadly).
However the isolated, oddball body language and the facial contortions and child-like mannerism make Depp the star of the film, hands down. Not Hammer but Depp. Not the lengthy feature but Depp. Not the misgivings the film seems to harbour, but Johnny Depp, one of the greatest actors to grace the silver screen.
Couple that with wild, imaginative story-telling and a chock-full of imaginative set-pieces and lavish production and massive locomotive crashes, "The Lone Ranger" comes out to be a highly entertaining film - which is not to be taken very seriously (except a risky message being conveyed to the viewers) - that pleases the senses and make the viewers fall in love with Depp again, for viewers like yours truly and his seven year old daughter.
We both loved it and this was our THIRD viewing. Go Comanche that.
She loves her 'ToRonto' and I didn't make an effort to correct her.
In the end when 'The Lone Ranger' does the signature and an age-old move with his horse 'Silver', shouting "Hi-yo Silver! Away!"; the camera cuts to an evidently shocked and disgusted Tonto: "Don't ever do that again.", to which, John Reid apologizes: Sorry... Tonto".
There is no way that was gonna work... And the biggest qualm of the American critics seems to stem from the line above, I believe.
Why? Well, "World War Z," (released close to "TLR") was bland, bloated and a misshapen mess, with an onslaught of action over-kill and nothing special to offer but a half baked Brad Pitt and a feeble attempt to entertain; and it was hailed as a great film for reasons known to fuck knows who.
"The Lone Ranger" is a brilliant film, which is well-acted and a superbly directed adventure story. It's a wonderful and an important film in its telling, where the viewer cannot trust an old Tonto, who fills his narrative with animated mysticism, making it even more fun and legendary.
Claiming the film to be one of the best of 2013, Quentin Tarantino had to say this, "[sic] Then comes the train scene - incredible! When I saw it, I kept thinking, ‘What, that’s the film that everybody says is crap? Seriously?"
Throw them a "Minions,2015" toy bone.