Happy Holiday week! As we celebrate another birthday for this wonderful USA we are lucky to live in, I got a chance to check out the Jerry Bruckheimer/Gore Verbinski adaptation of the Lone Ranger. I remember watching the heroic Lone Ranger western when I was a kid and always enjoyed the heroic take and friendship between he and Tonto, his native American companion. When I heard this was coming out I was real excited, we had Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney involved which gave me hope for another possible excited franchise and the chance to bring this character into the populace of today. I then got a little nervous when I heard Johnny Depp was involved, but shrugged it off. Was I going to get “Jack Sparrow as a native American”? Also, the Lone Ranger would be played by Armie Hammer?? Really? Then, I heard of budget concerns and the film was close to being shut down all together. But besides all these bumps in the roads the movie was released and I found myself sitting in the theatre with my family with hesitant expectations.
The results were I was pleasantly surprised. I think it does draw comparisons to the film making of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise but it still is very enjoyable. I appreciated it was a little more serious than I even expected. It has a convoluted plot involving the railroad conspiracies but at the end of the day you want to see this unusual partnership during the old west of a hero wearing a mask and a native American working together to fight evil. Armie Hammer does a sufficient job as the Lone Ranger, a lawyer who comes to town hoping to bring justice without the use of a gun but after horrific things happen he is forced to take up the shroud of this character and work with Tonto to bring the villainous Butch Cavendish played devilishly by William Fichtner to justice. The movie does give you the classic moments, the mask, the silver bullet, his horse named silver, and even his famous yell, “Hiyo Silver, away”! Though it’s done with a comedic take. Johnny Depp does a good job as Tonto bringing his usual quirkiness to this role but at least switching it up a little bit to make sure he is doing Jack Sparrow 2.0. He too has and underlining reason for wanting Cavendish punished. Now this movie is not groundbreaking or great so don’t read too much into this review. It probably helped I had such low expectations. The action is fun but of course typical Gore Verbinski over the top and unbelievable. But at the end of the day it is fun, enjoyable, and the partnership of the two leads help. I do have to give a little warning those with small kids, this is a true PG13, there is lots of violence and Cavendish’s villain has an especially gruesome scene so just be careful and make that judgement call. But this take on the Lone Ranger is fun and a good summer movie on a once iconic character. I would enjoy a sequel and to see this partnership grow, though I am not sure if the box office, mixed reviews, and big budget will allow this movie to make enough money to bring it to fruition.