At The Movies-The Lone Ranger

Depp makes film great fun


When I finished watching The Lone Ranger the audience broke into spontaneous applause. And I did too. We liked the movie for what it was: an often funny, two-and-half-hour-long entertainment experience.

Johnny Depp as Tonto was a hoot; the movie was his and should perhaps have been titled Tonto. The PG-13 rating might be a tad on the low side. There was a good bit of fairly disturbing violence for a Disney film, so be warned. The Comanche nation suffers some very serious casualties. Most viewers will be uneasy seeing this.

Director Gore Verbinski and two of the three writers are veterans of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, also featuring Johnny Depp in odd clothes and makeup. The comparisons are natural and inevitable. I may be among the few reviewers that will give The Lone Ranger an average grade of three saw blades. Most awards are lower. I think that this reflects viewer’s expectations that after spending an estimated $250 million or more to make the film we should get something better than a middling good movie.

Every moment that Depp is on screen, the film hums and glistens. When the camera is off him, it drifts off into absurd excesses of spectacular special effects. There is enough cool stuff to keep us interested however. One of what I take as the strengths of the film is the nebulous way the Tonto character is written.

We open the film in the mid 1930s where a heavily made up Depp is Tonto as a very old man. He tells the tale of the Lone Ranger to a young boy in a Lone Ranger outfit, mask, cap guns and all. We never quite know if Tonto is a historian, a shaman or a nut job making it all up.

I think he isn’t a historian. The specific facts of the story are not nearly as important as the saga itself. Tonto explores what professors of literature might call Magic Realism in some of the sequences. There is a Spirit Horse (Silver) that provides some odd moments but no conclusions. I rather liked that whole idea.

Some stuff that didn’t work so well are the extended sequences where the Lone Ranger and Silver ride along a moving train, sometimes on top of it and sometimes inside of it. Magic Realism or not, it was just too much and too stupid to take.

Ditto the whole character played by Helena Bonham Carter. She plays a prostitute with an artificial leg made of ivory in a role that adds very little to the story.

Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger is perhaps too tentative a hero, a man of thoughts propelled into becoming a man of action.

But Johnny Depp is wonderful, quirky, and perhaps mad in giving us a whole new Tonto to relish.

The Lone Ranger

A fun and exciting movie

Katie Schouten

Teen reviewer

For the longest time, the only thing I knew about the Lone Ranger, was that his nephew’s horse’s name is Victor. This, of course I knew from the movie A Christmas Story, taking place in a time when evening entertainment came from a radio.

The Lone Ranger began as a radio series back in the 1930s. It was a TV show in the 1950s and there have been a few movie versions made. Now, the Lone Ranger has reappeared with the well-known Comanche Tonto. The biggest question here is, who is the sidekick?

This is the first version of the Lone Ranger to bill Tonto as the lead role. However, Johnny Depp is usually never billed as anything less. Depp brought in his same style of playing eccentric, half-mad characters, although he is not as good at Tonto as he is at Jack Sparrow.

As the Lone Ranger himself, we have Armie Hammer. This is his first real leading role, and I think we will be seeing more of him. He was able to portray his character well, John Reid the lawyer, who is thrown into the role of Texas Ranger on a search for outlaw Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner). His character offered the laughs that were well complemented by Johnny Depp.

Well-known actress Helena Bonham Carter was also featured, although her character, Red, was definitely more of a presence than a character that could make or break the movie. She was just there - although she did have a cool gun.

The Lone Ranger was not a western in the style of John Wayne. It was fast paced, with action in many places and comedy a good share of the movie. It definitely showed that Johnny Depp was not only one of the actors, but also an executive producer.

Much of the movie was exciting, with the very recognizable William Tell Overture playing in the background during many of the action scenes. However, there were one or two moments when I did have to grimace (a death of a character was a bit graphic), but thankfully they were short and not dwelled on very long.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Lone Ranger. It was fun and exciting. I have to say, however, that it is not recommended for children and earned its PG-13 rating. On the other hand, it is a movie that can be enjoyed by many different types of viewers, not just action or western lovers. I recommend The Lone Ranger as a good summer movie.

This is my farewell, and I will not be reviewing any more movies. I will be leaving to go to college at Brigham Young University to study mechanical engineering. I have loved receiving your positive comments.


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