Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Lone Ranger

Movie Name: The Lone Ranger
Year of Release: 2013
Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Helena Bonham Carter, James Badge Dale, Ruth Wilson, Bryant Prince, Barry Pepper, Mason Cook, James Frain, Damon Herriman
Genre: Action, Western, Adventure
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

"The Lone Ranger" is the latest action extravaganza from director Gore Verbinski, who has directed the first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" features and also "The Ring", to name but a few. "The Lone Ranger" follows the story of two individuals, seemingly completely different, but who get thrown together by the force of circumstances. These individuals are Tonto, a native American who is on a quest to redeem himself from some sad choices in life, and John Reid, a young man with a law degree, who returns to his hometown in the middle of nowhere. John finds himself aiding his brother, a Ranger, though they all fall - fatally - prey to the machinations of the ruthless Butch Cavendish. With Tonto's resourcefulness, John finds himself being brought back to life, and on a quest to determine why exactly his brother got killed, and what the railroad and his main proponent Cole's role is in this scenario.
Gore Verbinski is a director with an eye for the absurd. His films are punctuated by some spurts of irony and humor in the middle of the narrative. The concept is well on display on his "The Lone Ranger", which tackles the origins of the mythical character and of his sidekick, Tonto. This duo, particularly at the hands of Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, are definitely going on a humorous ride, very much like what Verbinski created in the "Pirates" films. The film doesn't pretend to bring or present something new or different - it definitely revels in the extremes of being a large entertainment feature, where the villains are just mean, the ladies are innocent and the heroes are dashing, and in this case, quite funny. Johnny Depp is as usual reliably good, bringing a sense of humor that fits the character and allows the material to lose any seriousness that it could possibly have. This clearly isn't a Clint Eastwood opus - you won't find "Unforgiven" or a quest of that dimension here. "The Lone Ranger" is about entertaining a large crowd, with a dash of slapstick, a dash of innocence and a lot of explosions.