The Lone Ranger
Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer
July 3, 2013
2 hours 29 minutes
It's a pretty well known fact that whenever Johnny Depp portrays a bizarre character, he literally BECOMES the character. Many examples include Jack Sparrow, Sweeney Todd, and even Willy Wonka for the matter. His next transformation comes in the form of Tonto, the wise and spiritual Indian sidekick to The Lone Ranger. Based on the radio serial of the same name, "The Lone Ranger" tells the story of John Reid's resurrection from the dead and his adventures with Tonto and their quest to fight for injustice, but it's somewhat told from the perspective of Tonto. While a fair amount of people aren't looking forward to this much, I personally was, as it looked like nothing more than a summer blockbuster in the style of "Pirates of the Caribbean." You know what? That's exactly what I received: a fun summer blockbuster with the style of "Pirates" and the human setting of "Rango." I don't know how loyal this film was to the original serials, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a good time watching this film. "The Lone Ranger" is a great way to celebrate the 4th of July, and to just have a fun time in general.
Johnny Depp is the standout of this film, as he is in almost all of his movies. While he mostly channels the mannerisms of Jack Sparrow in the way he moves and reacts, Depp does make Tonto a completely unique and great character on its own. Hell, Tonto is probably going to be one of, if not the first thing you're thinking about as the credits begin rolling. Armie Hammer is somewhat the comedic relief of the movie, acting as the straight man who gets into crazy situations. As for his performance overall, he did a solid job as the title character. There is heart to his character, and he never gets annoying, even in the more dramatic parts of the film. If given more parts in movies, I believe Hammer can become a true A-lister in Hollywood. Hopefully he doesn't become like Taylor Kitsch after his numerous bombs last year, including "John Carter" and "Battleship." The rest of the supporting cast are all good in their own ways, but it is Depp primarily who makes the film, with Armie Hammer coming in at a close second.
Helena Bonham Carter has a much smaller role in the film than the trailers suggest. She only has three scenes in the film, and all she really does is pose, talk, and use her prosthetic leg to shoot others, as shown in the trailers. She was good in the film, though, as she always is. William Fichtner plays a great villain in this flick, continuing to show just how talented of an actor he is. Tom Wilkinson and Barry Pepper also have smallish roles in the film, and they're good for the time they're in it. Ruth Wilson is also good as Ruth Reid, the widow to the brother of John Reid, aka The Lone Ranger. She might be the somewhat stereotypical damsel in distress in the film, but she's good and seems to be having a fun time playing her. Overall, all of the acting is good in the film, with no bad acting to be found.
Director Gore Verbinski definitely manages to make a summer movie that, while a little too long, is exciting and a lot of fun. He is able to successfully create these over the top action sequences (to the tune of the original theme song to "The Lone Ranger") that are just so wacky and crazy that you can't help but have fun while watching them. After proving how good he is with westerns with "Rango," Verbinski shows that he has a keen eye for big set pieces, crazy action sequences, and a sense of adventure that keeps the audience captivated throughout. Screenwriters Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott, and Terry Rossio managed to write a movie that never takes itself too seriously and develops a good relationship between Tonto and The Lone Ranger, as well as make some pretty hilarious moments. There may be some of the same old cliches that have been in every Western ever made, but that doesn't really take away from just how fun and exciting this film is.
While it isn't groundbreaking on any levels, "The Lone Ranger" is a great example of just how fun and crazy movies can still be these days while maintaining a level where it doesn't become too goofy. Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer give solid lead performances, the story is interesting, and the action is over the top but help make the movie all the more enjoyable. The film also manages to have a humorous side to it, as it is quite hysterical at many points during the film. People who go to see this may be disappointed by it due to the fact that it's kind of trying to copy off the uniqueness of the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" film. In truth, though, that's exactly what I wanted out of this movie. If you're not fond of the idea of a "Pirates" flick set in Western times, then chances are you won't enjoy the film. I, for one, had a lot of fun with it, and will definitely see it again at least one more time. Hi ho silver, away!