An elderly Tonto tells a young
boy a story about how the
Lone Ranger and Tonto got together in what you could call the story of the
unreliable narrator which does jump a little bit (due to Tonto being crazy and
being old in 1933 as he tells the boy the story which takes place back in
1869). John Reid is a morally uptight
lawyer who decides to move back to his home of Colby,
Texas where his brother Dan (the Texas
Ranger) has married Rebecca (the girl John has always been in love with). Murderous
criminal Butch Cavendish (played
excellently by a very unrecognizable William Fichtner) happens to being
transported on the same train John is traveling in. Butch and Tonto are prisoners
in the same car. Tonto wants to kill Butch Cavendish because
he believes Butch is a wendigo, but John trying to stop Butch from escaping and
a rescue by Butch’s gang gets in the way.
Soon, John is joining Dan and a posse of Texas Rangers to recapture
Cavendish to hang for his crimes.
However, an ambush by Butch’s gang results in everyone except a traitor
and John being killed. Tonto and the
crazy spirit horse Silver save John and thus begins John’s quest as the masked
lone ranger to bring Butch to justice for Dan’s death.
THE LONE RANGER is an
overlong and somewhat enjoyable
Western reimagining of the Lone Ranger character for the 21st
century with Johnny Depp playing another eccentric character (or Tonto as
performed by Johnny Depp being Tonto). I
am still not totally convinced by the flashback story structure as told by the
unreliable narrator. The $250 million
spent to make this film is all screen except for the amounts of money paid to
secure Johnny, Armie Hammer, and Gore Verbinski (even though they supposedly
waived 20 percent of their salaries to help trim the budget which ended up
costing the amount they tried to trim to make it a little cheaper). The action
scenes and the various bits of
humor are great, but I do think they could have trimmed back on the budget
given they somehow ended up spending $250 million to make this movie in an
attempt to build another franchise to succeed Pirates of the Caribbean (which
has a fifth film coming in the future).
Then you have to remember it is Gore Verbinski who dream big for the
second and third Pirates movies.
Also the other big problem
is the movie is an origin
story did they need to spend a movie
telling the origin of the Lone Ranger via Tonto (who is crazy as a bat as he
always feeds the dead bird on his head).
You have the love interest, the brothel owner who wants to help them get
Cavendish, and the usual corruption in the railroad and military plot line
mixed in with the often repeated military vs. Native Americans story (which is
just a smoke screen for the actual plot).
Then you have Johnny Depp trying to be another eccentric character who
is over-the-top like other eccentric Johnny Depp has played so many times. THE
LONE RANGER isn’t the train wreck that
WILD WILD WEST was years ago, but I hope they learn to trim the fat and make a
leaner western with a smaller budget for the sequel. This film is the type of
movie that audiences
will enjoy more than critics, but still the director could have made this movie
shorter because I was looking at my watch from time to time. It isn’t
an entirely successful movie, but
making back the budget is the hurdle that has to be overcome before they can
even make a sequel.
The deleted scene is mostly
was never finished and you get
see it in previz form with only a small part of the scenes was actually shot.
Bloopers mainly consist of
line fluffs and people falling
off horses (or not getting on the horse).
ARMIE’S WESTERN ROAD
TRIP- this video diary has Armie takes
viewers on a tour of the various locations used in THE LONE RANGER in addition
to hearing from the locals and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
BECOMING A COWBOY- behind the
scenes of the cast going to
Cowboy Boot Camp to learn all the things that cowboys do.
RIDING THE RAILS OF THE LONE
RANGER- see how they made the
railroad scenes from building tracks to driving around with the train cars on
flatbed trailers on the roads to the CGI work involved in some of the major
Also included in this combo
pack is the movie in standard
definition on DVD and a digital copy of the film you can stream and download to
your smart phones, tablets, computers, and TVs.
FINAL ANALYSIS: I
wish the LONE RANGER blu-ray had more making-of extras than just 30
minutes. The movie isn’t as bad as some
would suggest even though it is a little bloated with a few missteps in the story.
This review is (c)12-13-2013
David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments