“Something very wrong with that horse.”
From the producer who brought us The Pirates of Carribean 10 years ago, Johnny Depp left the high seas, shed his guyliner and pirate boots, opting for full face make up and stolen cowboy boots this time, changing the scenery to a dusty dune of the south. Enter: The Lone Ranger
Set in the dusty dunes of 1869, when the Transcontinental railroad was the greatest invention of human kind. The Comanche Indians and the local in Colby, Texas live side by side in their respective territory. The return of, John Reid (Armie Hammer), a freshgrad lawyer to his hometown, determined, wide-eyed and idealistic about justice marks the beginning of the story. Little did he know he shared the same train with an outlaw, Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner), and a quirky Indian, Tonto (Johnny Depp). After the Texas Rangers, which include Reid’s Brother Dan (James Badge Dale), met their tragic untimely end in an unfortunate ambush. The two opposites will soon intertwine as their destiny reunites them in a weird partnership. Ivory-legged Madame (Helena Bonham Carter), absurd Spirit Horse, and on-train fights included.
This film was based on a radio series of the same name, which was originated in 1933. The year, if you watched the film, the story unfolds from the point of view of our unreliable narrative, Tonto. The film is probably my first western in years! The film has a staggering budget of US$ 250 million but it failed to perform well in the box office chart, earning a measly US$ 76 million worldwide. I think the kids really prefer the minions this summer. So since this is a summer movie, naturally the film went to a PG/PG-13 direction. While i think the material can be pushed into a slightly more R-rated direction. The film has its potential, but i think it fell way, way too short.
By trying to widen the possible viewer demographic (by keeping the film PG rated), the movie become slightly confusing for me. It serve violence out of the frame, so no blood and gore, but it also has darker comedy as well as physical gags, and duh, of course, action. All at the same time. For me this film seems to fall into the buddy, action-comedy film category set in the west. I think the film would be more engaging if it use a more dramatic approach instead. The movie main problem was its phase and length. With so many unnecessary sequences of events happening on screen, the film need to edit out at least a third of its length. Even the greatest movie will cause discomfort to the audience if its duration ran too long (this is more an about our comfort level will decrease the longer we have to sit in a stationary condition, lets face it, there isn’t an ample of space in a movie theater seat).
I wish they wouldn’t underuse Carter because like Depp, this is what she do a lot and well. Being that quirky borderline crazy character in wacky costume and weird details. I don’t know if the film seems to bite more than what it can chew, by delivering an origin story as well as capturing it from a different point of view (Tonto instead of the Lone Ranger), the decision from the producer to let most of the weight falls on Depp. We all know Depp did a lot of this kind of physically and psychologically eccentric characters since Edward Scissorhand, Willy Wonka, Jack Sparrow, Mad Hatter, and Barnabas Collins. While i found the roles to be entertaining more often than not i feel like i was served the same thing over and over again. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just become to repetitive that i am no longer surprised by what i’m seeing.
But of course my bias for Depp win out. At least I think this is better than what he did in Dark Shadow. The fact that the storyline did not follow a linear narrative but served with little twists is more appreciated. Tonto most of the film comedy as well as a compelling back story. The movie was by no means, great. But I think it should be enjoyable enough of a ride for an adventure film.
If you are listening to what the critics are saying, you know how negative their reaction are. The film is more accepted by the audience though. I think the main reason of the flop is the current competitor in the market (Despicable Me 2). Maybe this is a lesson for Disney too. After repeated flop of their films (most recently: John Carter) with tentpole budgets, even Johnny Depp name can not help to held the film up, but the company did earn bucketloads of money with the release of Iron Man 3, Monster’s University earlier this year. I don’t think Lone Ranger flop won’t be a huge deal for them.
One more time for the road, O, Spirit Horse!
THE LONE RANGER (2013)
GENRE Action, Adventure, Western
DIRECTOR Gore Verbinski | PRODUCER Jerry Bruckheimer, Gore Verbinski | WRITER Justin Haythe, Ted Elliot, Terry Rossio | MUSIC Hans Zimmer | CINEMATOGRAPHER Bojan Bazelli | EDITOR James Haygood, Craig Wood | STUDIO Walt Disney Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Infinitum Nihil, Blind Wink | DISTRIBUTOR Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures | COUNTRY United States | BUDGET $215-250 million | RUNNING TIME 149 minutes | RATING PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some suggestive material | RELEASE July 3, 2013 (US)
STARRING Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, Ruth Wilson, James Badge Dale, Helena Bonham Carter