Unlike most people, I happened to enjoy all the installments of the Pirates of Caribbean franchise save the last cinematic mess that was On Stranger Tides. I even loved Verbinski’s and Depp’s animated team-up with Rango, an inventive take on the Western genre with stunning graphics and action. I had moderately high hopes when I sat in my middle front row seat despite all the bad buzz surrounding Disney’s retelling of the radio series The Lone Ranger. I wanted to be naive to the negativity, but I fear I was too naive.
The narrative begins in a Wild West show where an unnamed boy dress as the Lone Ranger struts around an exhibit of the untamed west where he meets a much aged and ugly version of Tonto. This framing device gets in the way of the story throughout. When the pace gets going it abruptly stops at the most unfortunate times. In any case, we are introduced to John Reid (Armie Hammer,) a young noble lawyer from the cities to help tame the West with the law. From here, it’s difficult to retell the plot since it goes in so many aimless directions. Let’s just say that Tonto (Johnny Depp) and the “resurrected-like” John Reid must take outlaw Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner) to justice.
As said before, the plot goes every which way without reason or remorse. It’s like there were a whole bunch of ideas for scenes were thrown at the all and they were haphazardly strung together. No one really impressed me in the acting department. Hammer played his righteous self that we’ve seen before. Depp is being his weird self while still only imitating an American Indian rather than being one. Helena Bonham Carter makes a small appearance that doesn’t contribute little to nothing to the plot. The only acting kudos I have to give are to Fichtner for his devilish grotesque demeanor as the villain. Other characters, like the aforementioned, were terribly miscasted and largely forgettable.
Another major gripe was that it was incredibly close to rated R violent. All it was missing was the Tarantino blood spatter. But the sound and presentation of the violence was what made it incredibly difficult to watch. It makes movies like The Lord of Rings look like a walk in the park.
Despite the direction, acting and plot which all fall on their face, the cinematography did not cease to amaze me with nearly every frame. Yes, the palette was have that flashy wonder to it, but they stuck to the grays and browns and filled the frame with their beauty. With most of Verbinki’s other pictures, the world is full and realized. The Lone Ranger is no exception to having a rich world to live in for 2 hours or so. It’s like the Cinematographer Bojan Bazzilli and the art department were the only ones who cared about the quality of this movie.
Verdict: Wow… don’t spend any more money than you have to. Either Redbox for a day or borrow it.
Summer’s Best of List (So far)
1) Star Trek: Into Darkness
2) Iron Man 3
3) Man of Steel
4) Monsters University
5) Now You See Me
6) This Is The End
7) The Great Gatsby
8) World War Z
9) The Lone Ranger