Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fitchner, Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, Helena Bonham Carter
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Synopsis: Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice.
This movie has had it’s fair share of bad press, even before it’s release. Some of it is justified, but on the whole I think critics have been slightly harsh. It has some rollicking good fun and some big action set pieces.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto are, even now, so ingrained in history that I imagine most people know who they are. This film tells how they met. An origin story of sorts. It starts with a fantastic train ride full of stunts that was great fun. The trouble with the movie is the length. At nearly two and half hours, it is far too long. It is framed by an old Tonto telling a young boy about how he met the Lone Ranger. This seemed a bit of a pointless narration tactic which didn’t add anything to the movie itself, just to the movie’s run time instead.
The other critiscims you could aim at the movie, which many people have, are the casting decisions. The Lone Ranger is, by default, the main character. When you call a movie The Lone Ranger, he kind of has to be. Yet, Armie Hammer feels almost secondary to Johnny Depp at times, and in the credits he is. Which is fine, as Johnny Depp is bound to get star billing in any film he is in. In which case, why make him the sidekick? As much as I like Johnny Depp I did feel this was another ‘Jack Sparrow’ type performance from him, which is a shame because he is better than that. Maybe he is making these Disney films for his kids? Or maybe for a paycheck? Who knows, but in my view he should take a look at Matthew McCougnahey and how he has reignited his flagging career. Anyway, I digress.
The cast overall are pretty decent, the best perhaps is an almost unrecognisable William Fichtner as bad guy Butch Cavendish. Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson and Barry Pepper all offer good support.
Overall, I enjoyed this movie more than I thought I would based on the reviews its had. It has its problems for sure, but I defy anyone not to smile a bit when that famous music kicks in during the final, ridiculously over the top, set piece.