Friday, September 5, 2014
The Lone Ranger!
Reviews of last year's The Lone Ranger were so utterly terrible that I did not go to see it in the theater and neither did I collect it up on dvd, which I saw precious few of. Finally got to see this notorious movie on TV the other night and it lives up to its horrible reputation.
Johnny Depp as a smirking Tonto is entertaining, if strange, but Armie Hammer's portrayal of the Ranger as a lunkhead was embarrassing. I'm sure he was doing his job and following the director's orders, and so I won't hold it against him, but the Lone Ranger presented in this movie is at once too modern in his sensibilities and too stupid to root for. That we're supposed to believe any full-grown man in the 1860's in the American wild west would have such open disdain for firearms is hard enough to swallow, but that he'd retain that disregard half way through a misadventure which had seen the callous murder of his brother, his colleagues, and countless other innocents is impossible to take seriously. I don't know if the plan was to make Tonto look smarter by having the Ranger be such a dolt, but it changes the dynamic between the two so much you have to wonder why they stick together, regardless of mystic mumbo jumbo. Now admittedly this story being told from Tonto's bizarrely skewed 1939 perspective, I guess we're suppose to realize we're getting his impression of the classic heroic duo, but it doesn't work especially well.
And now the story. Since Hollywood seems intent on making only terrible Lone Ranger movies, we only ever see the origin story over and over again, since a sequel is never considered. This variation on the yarn began okay (save for the overly benighted John Reid himself). The ambush sequence was a nice bit of action movie making. After that things begin to get really confusing. The movie seemed to amble from set piece to set piece and paid little attention to momentum. The forward progression common in adventure pieces seemed to get muddled by constant needs to show yet again what a goof the Ranger is and what a wit Tonto could be. The movie, simply put, seems to dawdle in its middle act.
And the finale is a wild and wooly bit of business but as for being to able to comprehend the flow of the complicated stunts and and behaviors, I quit trying and just went along with the exceedingly wild ride. Again some clever scenes, but the parts never really blended into a convincing whole. I suspect this movie came apart in the editing process where it was either story ineffectively told with cutting or a mess of a flick which editing could not save. I suspect the latter was the case.
Either way it was yet another missed opportunity for a character who deserves so much more.
It's such a mess it makes me miss these guys.
Let alone these guys.
These two fellows are sadly the last who "got" the whole notion of the Lone Ranger. Mr. Moore and Mr. Silverheels, we miss you more each and every day.