The Lone Ranger

“At this point, it’s well known that Lone Ranger wasn’t well received. I’ll admit to being skeptical walking into the theater. While I may not have been greeted with a pleasant surprise of an underestimated movie, I will say that there was much more potential than people are giving it credit for. Granted, most people aren’t giving the film a chance in the first place, but that’s a whole other story.

I actually found this really great article that sums up a lot of what went wrong and right with the movie, and I’m pretty much in agreement with everything it says. The movie was a bit too long, I thought the framing device was unnecessary, the “”romance”” was awkward at best if not walking that fine line towards sleezy and creepy.

However, the last 20 minutes or so were fantastic. Once that familiar theme blared thru the speakers, and the Lone Ranger reared back on his horse to begin the great train chase, I was along for the ride. So many movies nowadays have these long and drawn out climax sequences, but this one held me better than any other has for a while. The music, the humor, the speed, the two trains, that was the spirit the movie should have had the whole time. Now, I get that there’s a need for some set up and backstory, but I feel like it could have been streamlined somewhere.

The greatest debate about this film is Johnny Depp as Tonto. I’m not talking about how appropriate or not his casting was (not even gonna touch that subject). I’m referring to the Jack Sparrow-ness of his performance. For someone who has been quite the chameleon in Hollywood, he’s certainly fallen into a bit of a pattern over recent years. While on the surface, I would agree that it seemed like he was phoning in the same performance we’ve seen a few times before, upon further reflection I think it may have been a good choice, in theory at least. At this point, Pirates is pretty much going nowhere, but Depp clearly has a bit of that spark left in him. This was a chance to try to channel that into a new character, with some room to change things around, but also continue to play with a style that’s unique to him and only rarely appropriate. For me, Tonto really was the star of the film, and if you weren’t trying to compare him to Jack Sparrow, he really was a fun and great character.

One more thing I have to point out. If you watch closely during the train robbery, you might catch a glimpse of Allison Volk as Jane. Why am I pointing that out? Because back when my theater group did Star Wars Trilogy: Musical Edition Allison was our Princess Leia. I guess that makes me one degree of separation from Johnny Depp now?

The Lone Ranger – \m/ \m/ \n

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