Lazy Movie Review: The Lone Ranger


Premise:  A Texas Ranger gets killed on his first day on the job, and then gets raised from the dead by a white horse, is forced into a relationship with a kooky Native American, and sent on a destined mission to stop railroad expansion by some asshole, or something?



-The final action sequence was awesomely choreographed and very reminiscent of really good silent film-type action scenes.  And the fact that the William Tell Overture was playing over the entire thing (which was a tonal shift from the scene before it, but we’ll talk about that in a minute) was pretty incredible.  At first I thought it was only going to play during the beginning, then it would get overly serious and change tones again… but it was like 15 minutes long and the Overture played over the entire thing.  In stark contrast to the rest of the film, it was a perfect example of how to make a FUN movie about trains.

-The costumes were kinda good?  Maybe except for Johnny Depp’s dead bird hat.

-The cinematography was really good when I took the time to notice it.  Lots of great scenery, which, since it was one of the only few pros I’ll give this movie, I won’t think too hard about as to whether or not they were digitally enhanced.  Note: THEY PROBABLY WERE.

-Tom Wilkinson is basically good in everything he does.  I will say he did as good a job as he could have done with what was given to him.



-OK, this movie was tonal diarrhea.  It had no idea what kind of movie it wanted to be, so instead of committing to any one idea, it just did EVERYTHING and hoped that we as the audience wouldn’t mind that every scene felt different from the last.  It would go from a fun & bouncy action scene, to a scene of a villain literally cutting out a guy’s heart and eating it, back to slapstick comedy and pratfalls, then to a dark Requiem for a Dream-esk hallucination, then to lengthy exposition filled with children getting backhanded, and so on.  One minute we are learning of Tonto’s super depressing past via flashback, and the next we are watching the two leads buried neck deep in the ground wise-cracking about scorpions.


-The running joke about Tonto feeding the dead bird hat peanuts the entire movie was awful.  No one in the theater laughed the first time he did it.  And they didn’t laugh the 18th time he did it either.  Oh, he’s waiting for the bird’s soul to come back to its body?  GEE, I wonder if the bird will come back to life in the final scene of the movie…?  I WONDER.

-The plot is told with a framing device featuring an elderly Tonto telling stories to a young boy in a Lone Ranger costume at a circus sideshow in 1933.  This wasn’t just a dumb framing device because it was completely unnecessary, but also because it provided the film with the monumental laziness of being able to jump around the plot by cutting back to 1933 whenever they didn’t have a good enough link between two events.  And the kid would always ask dumb things that question the logic of the dumb movie that we were all watching.  It was almost like the kid was the audience’s vessel to actually speak to the movie characters themselves and ask why the movie was so bad.  It was all very meta.  The Lone Ranger probably shouldn’t be meta.

-I don’t think I can do it anymore, you guys…  If I have to look at Helena Bonham Carter in another movie with crazy hair and too much make up on… I might finally snap…  I don’t care if she’s an alright actress, I am completely fed up with her crazy haired bullshit.  FUCK.  OFF.  It also didn’t help that her character in this movie was fairly unnecessary, and her plot line could have, no, SHOULD have been written out of the final movie.

-Armie Hammer seems like a nice guy, and he did a pretty good job as the smarmy Winklevoss twins; but in this movie he just comes across as the super handsome guy who thinks he’s funny but doesn’t have any comedic timing, i.e. that guy you knew in college who you hated.

-Also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an action movie filled with so many darkly dramatic scenes, where the two main characters were BOTH comic relief, AND where the sidekick was actually the main character.  So it’s this weird dynamic where the titular character is telling supporting jokes to his mentally deranged sidekick, who has more emotionally at stake than the hero does, in a movie about a guy trying to get rich off railroads.

-The female lead was useless.  Her existence in the film is only beneficial for giving the Ranger a reason to try to save her, thus putting him in the right place to fight the villain at the end.  Had she not been kidnapped, I don’t see why the Lone Ranger would have had the motivation to show up at the end.  To say this movie has no gender dynamics is probably, like, completely accurate.  Also, she gets slapped in the face by men about five times, and falls in love with the Lone Ranger probably two weeks after her husband was brutally murdered.  Probably because she’s the only girl in the movie and someone has to fall in love with the Lone Ranger, because HOLLYWOOD.

-Why is he even referred to as the Lone Ranger by the bad guys in this movie, when he is never once seen doing ANYTHING by himself?

-CGI rabbits…  So many CGI rabbits…

-I saw this movie at 10:30 AM, and I exited the theater just before 2 PM.  IT’S TOO LONG.


Final Thoughts:  When I think of the “Big 3” dumb summer action movie directors (Michael Bay, Gore Verbinski, and Roland Emmerich), I usually think of Bay as the most visually competent director, but with the most immature sense of storytelling.  And then Emmerich is the best storyteller, but his visuals often stray into ridiculous territory.  Verbinski, then, is sort of a middle ground between the other two.  Where the ridiculous visuals clash with an immature mishmash of ideas.  I don’t really know where I’m going with this, but I do know that all of these guys constantly make 2 and 1/2 hour-long movies, and that needs to stop.  Seriously.

4 out of 10

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