WARNING: Spoilers. There are plot giveaways in this review. (But nothing big so stop having a cry and read the damn review!)
OFFICIAL SILVER SCREENER REVIEW
– THE LONE RANGER –
IMDB Rating: 6.6 out of 10 (4,946 votes)
Director: Gore Verbinski
Turning out to be better than I expected, The Lone Ranger is a visual and aural delight, but the narrative barely holds itself up on horseback, instead falling to the ground in a blaze of gunfire and exploding dynamite.
Probably the worst thing about The Lone Ranger is the writing. The script is so poor, so weak, so incredibly blind to it’s own problems, that one can hardly believe some of the narrative being written by supposed “professionals”. I’m sure the writers of the screenplay (Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio) are all good writers. In fact, I’m positive; all three have written something of note: Elliot and Rossio wrote Shrek, Aladdin, and the Pirates of the Carribean series, while Haythe wrote Revolutionary Road. But the cohesiveness of The Lone Ranger’s screenplay is so invisible, so misguided, you’ll never want to ever attempt to read it. Some of the dialogue, especially that between John and Rebecca, is way too corny.
You’ll be questioning events in the film for hours after you see it, but never fear, you’re not alone. Everyone will have gone through the same thing.
How did John Reid ever get on top of that giant structure? How did he get down? Why did Cole work with Butch Cavendish? Why did all the townspeople forgive Butch Cavendish when he came back? Why? Why? Why? Do you see what I’m getting at? What I’ve written don’t represent even half the holes in The Lone Ranger’s narrative. Not even half.
And nothing is really subtle in the script either, which kind of fits in with the tone of the film: big, loud, over-the-top, and elaborate. For example, why can surprise changes of heart never be surprising!? Why do filmmakers leave all these completely obvious clues in the piece? Why can’t filmmakers give smaller clues to the viewer? Why can’t it just come out of the blue? It was so frustrating to see Cole all of a sudden become Butch’s accomplice. I mean, seriously, who didn’t see that coming?
Also, there’s a point in the film where a child is holding a grown man – a US Cavalry Officer, to be exact – at gunpoint, with 5 or 6 other adults just watching him, all involved in their own way with this situation. That is so wrong. So incredibly, devilishly wrong. It’s so wrong to put a child in charge of a situation clearly not suited to someone his age. A discussion over corruption and the killing of innocent people, all controlled by a child pointing a revolver, is just plain cruel, to viewers enjoying an innocent film, and to children alike.
Fichtner is great, and I mean great, as Butch Cavendish. He is very creepy, very intense, very very evil in what seems like a role Fichtner should be playing more. Depp is convincing enough as Tonto; he’s written for laughs, and for the most part he delivers. His last line is his best. And Hammer is genuinely not bad as The Lone Ranger, although some of his acting isn’t as convincing as his counterparts. So do I know why Helena Bonham Carter is in the film? No, not really.
The action is terrific, though. It’s an enthralling view for the eyes. Trains seem to explode more times than countable. Guns fire bullets in every which way, bringing the calm of the desert down with the person the bullet has hit. Boxes of explosives are cracked open, ravaged, and planted even more times than the destroying of a train cart. The train scenes are very well shot, and extremely entertaining. So basically, it’s a feast for the eyes, a fantastic feeding for the senses, a festival of explosions, a barrage of noise. Hans Zimmer’s score is simply fantastic; it’s half Sherlock Holmes, half country-western theme. And the larger-than-life backdrop of the film is beautiful; really well shot desert throughout the whole film. The Lone Ranger is everything that mindless teens want in a movie; things being blown up blanketed by a million bullets, served with a side of death, death and death. But I’m no mindless teen. I expect more.
It’s overlonged, poorly written, and really oddly structured with the whole “old Tonto retelling the story” thing (by the way, how did he retell the bits where he wasn’t there?), but The Lone Ranger is not a terrible movie. Instead, the film hangs on it’s extremely satisfying action, even if it may feel like the action lingers for too long.
MY RATING: 6 out of 10.
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Listen to my audio review HERE.