Monday, July 8, 2013

The Lone Ranger (Movie Review)

The best thing, worst thing, and main thing about "The Lone Ranger" in about the time it takes to watch the preview.



Note to Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski, if you wanted to make another Pirates movie just make another Pirates movie.
The Lone Ranger is a new take on the classic old west hero, this time brought to us by the team behind The Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Gore Verbinski directs and Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer take on the roles of our heroes. Right from the beginning, you can tell that Gore and Depp are in very familiar territory, so much so that I swear many of these scenes could have been swapped with scenes from one of the Pirates movies and nobody would have known the difference. Verbinski continues his distinct storytelling device that contrasts characters of grit and grime with those of polish and prestige. His modus operandi is to move our hero from the world of polish to the world of grime under the guidance of a quirky side kick who patiently withstands our heros journey. Depp of course is perfect for this endeavor whether it be as Jack Sparrow in the Caribbean or here as Tonto and yet he really isn’t bringing much new to his repertoire by taking on this role. Armie Hammer, on the other hand, feels genuinely fresh in the hero’s role by showing a keen sense for both depth and humor, serving the story well even if the movie does eventually lose its way.
The best thing about “The Lone Ranger” is when it’s working, it’s really working. There are several really great action scenes that feel visceral, energetic, and fun. The movie opens with one of the best old west train chases I’ve ever seen and when the william tell overture kicks in in the finale... wow... goosebumps. Even in some of the less frenetic moments the movie finds a good rhythm between its leads as Depp and Hammer play really well together. The problem is those parts don’t even make up half the movie, and at a 2 and a half hour run time that makes the whole endeavor feel like a major slog.
And thats the worst thing, the pacing. The movie seems to get lost in it’s own message and self importance trying to turn what could have been a playful romp into a meaningful statement about race relations and the evils of industrialism. Not that these aren’t important things to consider, only that the movie could have made the same points without having to strain at it so hard. The movie is intertwined with a completely unnecessary storytelling device that steals much of the energy and momentum throughout, and the movie spends so much time delving into the back stories of our two leads that the joy of the movie completely fades. It’s as if the movie sacrifices the story’s present by spending too much time in the past and future. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for giving characters their due development, but at some point you have to trust that we get it and let us get back to the fun stuff before boredom sets in.
Overall, The Lone Ranger is a frustrating miss. It shows promise in the performance and chemistry of its leads, and has some really fun adventure and action that leaps off the screen. But in the end the movies tendency to shift down for lessons and explanations grinds this train to a screeching halt and ends up making the whole journey way too long. I say it’s a C. -------- For more reviews you can check out or join the conversation at Your Movie Friends Facebook page. And as always feel free to subscribe at YouTube to be notified as soon as new reviews are available. Just click the subscribe button now!

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