Good, Bad & Ugly Review: The Lone Ranger

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 23% (Critics) / 74% (Audience)
Directed By: Gore Verbinski
Written By: Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio
Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Ruth Wilson and Tom Wilkinson
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

Synopsis:From producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the filmmaking team behind the blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, comes Disney/ Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ “The Lone Ranger,” a thrilling adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Native American spirit warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice-taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption. – (Source)

The Good:
Despite my issues with Johnny Depp’s casting as Tonto (more on that later), I do have to give Depp credit for being the only good thing about this movie. Sure he was basically just doing a toned down variation of his Capt. Jack Sparrow performance from the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movies but he was just quirky and funny enough to make this movie not a complete waste of time.

The Bad:
The casting of the two primary roles in this movie just boggle my mind. As big a fan of Johnny Depp’s as I am, there is no reason why he should have been cast as Tonto especially not when Hollywood is chock full of Native American actors (Adam Beach? Wesley French? Hell maybe even Lou Diamond Phillips? ) who very rarely get a chance to play the second lead in a major studio summer blockbuster. But the dearth of Native American actors given a shot at major roles isn’t even the main reason why I think Depp should not have been cast as Tonto…the main reason is that he should have been cast as The Lone Ranger! Nothing against Armie Hammer (who I am sure is a swell guy) but he is not ready to be the star of a movie like this especially not when every thing about the script is set up to make the character he is playing completely unlikable.
The decision to make this version of the Lone Ranger an insufferable, pacifistic, bumbling, dandy could have possibly been salvaged by a star with Depp’s talent and charisma in the role but in less charismatic hands (namely Hammer’s) the supposed hero of this movie just became someone I wanted to see bad things happen to at every turn.
And wasting the immense talents of the magnificent Ruth Wilson (check her out as the brilliant psychopath Alice in the BBC TV show LUTHER to see what I mean) as prairie damsel in distress is just unconscionable.

The Ugly
At 2 hours and 29 minutes this movie was about an hour too long. Does no one edit these films anymore? What scary great scenes in this dud were so necessary that director Gore Verbinski couldn’t trim this thing down from it’s monstrously long running time?

Final Verdict: A badly cast, badly written, piss poor re-imagining of a classic character that is overlong, overblown and just overdone in every way without doing much right except for Depp’s performance which was not nearly enough to make THE LONE RANGER worth watching.

Grade: D

3 thoughts on “Good, Bad & Ugly Review: The Lone Ranger

    1. Well it isn’t doing all that great according to repors I have read. It’s probably going to never recoup its $200 million budget.


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