When lawyer, John Reid (Armie Hammer) returns to his hometown a city slicker, he stands up to some good-hearted ribbing from his Texas Ranger brother and the other lawmen.
All that comes to an end when Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner) and his gang are spotted near town.
After being hastily deputized, the Reid brothers and a posse of lawmen ride out to round up the Cavendish gang.
When the Cavendishs are able to ambush the lawmen in a canyon, they are all murdered, or so it would seem. A crazed, wandering Comanche, Tonto (Johnny Depp), comes across the bodies and decides to bury them.
At the last minute, a beautiful white spirit horse “asks” Tonto to take another look at John Reid, who is not dead. Tonto follows the horse’s instructions and explains that Reid is now a spirit walker, who has gone to the other side and returned. The two join forces, outside the law, to bring justice to the west and avenge the murders.
We say, “It’s better than everyone says it is.”
HOWE: I don’t know what all the fuss is about The Lone Ranger being a bad movie, I found it pretty good. The acting is fine (even though all Depp has done is change Sparrow’s costume to Tonto’s, while the voice and mannerisms are the same.) There’s also lots of action and some funny moments. One thing that I did notice was how violent this was for a Disney movie.
TAYLOR: I agree. It’s schlock, to be sure, but so was The Lone Ranger. The filmmakers seem to have taken Tonto from a simpleton, “Him go thata way,” to a spiritual/crazy character. I think it works. There’s really no reason for Depp to be walking around with a dead crow on his head, other than perhaps to cement the fact that he’s lost his marbles.
As for the violence: Whoa, Silver, this is, by a large margin, the most violent, crude and graphic Disney movie ever made. It’s rated PG-13 and unless you feel like explaining the raunchier exploits of the average western movie to your eight year old, don’t take him or her. However, this was kind of what I liked about it.
HOWE: The storyline isn’t that strong. You can tell who the bad guys are right away, you can see all the plot lines at least 15 minutes before they happen, and they didn’t use the quality actors like Tom Wilkinson or Helena Bonham Carter nearly enough. But saying that, it didn’t bother me or spoil the enjoyment.
TAYLOR: Pocket watch mementos of past wrongdoings, the building of America via rail expansion, the blowing up of bridges, corrupt politicians with goons in their pockets, savvy prostitutes, ugly evildoers, we’ve seen it all before.
I don’t know who this film is for, because fans of The Lone Ranger are dead. Fans of the western genre have seen it all before and it’s too adult a movie for kids. So although it’s not bad, it’s not nearly awesome enough to succeed. Thus, Disney prepares to take another hundred million dollar bath. Too bad? Not really. Who cares? Exactly.
Taylor gives The Lone Ranger 3 copies of the Treatises of Government out of 5.
Howe gives it 3 feedings out of 5.
The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.
— Brian Taylor and Peter Howe’s movie review column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.