Although not a child of the 50’s, somehow the urgency of the “William Tell Overture”, the majesty of “Hi-Yo, Silver! Away”, the endearment of “Ke-mo sah-bee”, and their relationship to a certain masked Ranger has been engrained in my subconscious.
Despite never witnessing a radio broadcast, or recalling a television program or film of The Lone Ranger, implications of the franchise share fragments of my childhood with Alvin and the Chipmunks.
So naturally, this innate brand of public awareness prompted the masterminds over at Disney to reinvent the western classic for modern audiences.
Produced and directed by the architects of the popular Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, The Lone Ranger has the same outrageously farcical tone…and not to mention lead actor.
Unlike its vintage predecessors, in Disney’s The Lone Ranger Tonto emerges as the star of the narrative; instead of the Ranger’s loyal sidekick.
Depp eagerly attempts to recreate the magic of his Pirates of the Caribbean alter-ego, Jack Sparrow. With cracked zebra-skin makeup streaking down his face and a dead crow—which he keeps mindlessly feeding throughout the film—atop his head, Depp re-imagines a new Tonto. No longer a brave warrior, he rambles between being a daft fool and a meagerly capable wise man.
Armie Hammer (whom I will always see as the unfortunate Winklevoss twins; The Social Network) is our Lone Ranger. He spends the film in pursuit of outlaw Butch Cavendish (played by a virtually unrecognizable William Fichtner).
True to the genre, the action takes place in the American west amongst a commencing railroad, Native-American conflict, heavy gun slinging, and dusty ranches.
However, despite Disney’s best efforts to resurrect a nearly forgotten film genre and a dated franchise, The Lone Ranger sadly does not live up to expectations.
Its attempts at comedy are truly hit and miss. At times the plot seems erratic; meandering along dropping plot points at will.
Despite the anticipation surrounding the film, I recommend that you RENT IT, unless you’re a die-hard Johnny Depp enthusiast or tolerant of grand spectacle without narrative substance.
The Lone Ranger, although not a total bust, would have been best enjoyed in the comforts of my living room— equipped with a “pause”and “fast forward” button.
-Jennifer Hall,CBS Charlotte
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