Johnny Depp… Why do you keep showing up here? You are a genuinely talented actor. I’ve seen you in good stuff, I know this. What in God’s name made you think that taking this movie was a good idea? Please, I want to know. Did you owe someone money? Did a kid just really want to see you in red face? What is it? Seriously… Your fans, they want to help.
All joking aside, this film is fucking terrible. I would love to meet the person who actually thought that The Lone Ranger in 2013 would make money. Better yet… I would love to meet the person who thought Johnny Depp’s Tonto and His Sidekick The Lone Ranger was going to make money. Because that person is on a whole other level of stupid, that I have yet to come across in my 23 years on this planet. Yes, The Lone Ranger is a classic and yes I can actually see a movie being made about him in this time. However if you honestly think that just by throwing in Johnny Depp doing what Johnny Depp does, is going to be enough for your shitty shitty western to even come close to the ABSURD 215-250 MILLION dollar budget this thing had… My God… A monkey could do a better job than you sir. Please… Give us the monkey!
I basically just said it in that little mini rant overhead. There really is no point in going over the synopsis. It is an origins story of the Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer), an American Icon made way back in the times of old radio with his sidekick Tonto (Johnny Depp). The story is a staple of westerns and staple of old radio and old TV. Not to mention this guy was basically the definition of a superhero before superheroes were even born. (And yes if Batman and Iron Man can be a superhero and have no superpowers then The Lone Ranger can be a superhero without super powers deal with it.) But then you take this movie and throw over $215,000,000 dollars at it and basically take everything that was the Lone Ranger out of the film and make Johnny Depp’s Tanto the star… You are basically asking for your movie to be a failure.
Some Scenes Look Nice
Okay… Some of the cinematography is well done. A lot of shots have that old fashion western feel and look very nice. So… Yeah I’m not going to fault it for that… But I will fault it for the rest of the film.
The Fact that this Film is About Tonto
So… You try to bring The Lone Ranger to a 2013 audience… Okay, you get Johnny Depp as Tonto… That alone will bring in people to watch it, I get that. I will buy that there are a lot of parents and grandparents who love The Lone Ranger and would want to share it with their kids. Even though I would never attempt this, I can at least see where the logic was… But… Why would anyone think that making Tonto the star of this movie was a good idea? I want to stress this, Armie Hammer is not the star of this film, Johnny Depp is. This is Tonto’s tale… Literally Tonto’s tale as they have a bewildering framing scene as the opening. This is a Lone Ranger movie where the lead is not The Lone Ranger!
Real quick let me explain to anyone who has not seen the earlier versions just who Tonto was in the past. Now keep in mind this was in the past when racial tolerance was not exactly a thing yet. Tonto in Spanish means ‘Dumb’ and that is what Tonto was in the past. He was The Lone Ranger’s bumbling sidekick who did assist him at times, but almost every show opened with Tonto riding into town, then coming back slumped over the Ranger’s horse and the Lone Ranger would have to go in and save the day. Now I know nowadays things have changed, but a lot of people have it in their minds that Tonto can’t hold a candle to the Lone Ranger. In this film, The Lone Ranger is the bumbling sidekick and Tonto is cool and suave and has all the answers. You just alienated the older fanbase that watched this growing up. Now do not get me wrong I’m not saying Tonto should have been this bumbling moron… But he should have been what he is… A sidekick. Tonto is Robin from Batman, Tonto is Bucky from Captain America. Tonto is the lovable sidekick who in a pinch can kick some serious ass but is still not as awesome as the lead. In this film he absolutely over shadows him. I can understand that they want to focus on Depp as he brings in the big bucks, but why not let him be the Lone Ranger? Seriously make Depp the Lone Ranger and find an actual Native American actor to play Tonto instead of putting Depp in red face and goof around on scene for two and a half hours.
This was simply poor casting, poor writing, and a poor judgment that culminate into just one big bad idea.
The Lone Ranger Isn’t the Lone Ranger
The Lone Ranger isn’t a hard concept to get. He is an old timey western hero. He is a stubble cheeked, low down, serious business type of guy who rides his horse valiantly into danger to save the lives of others and bring law to a lawless town… But in this film he is a bumbling idiot who just lets Tonto do all the damn work. Not to mention the guy wouldn’t even know what a gun from a stick by the way he is portrayed.
Seriously. The Lone Ranger gunslinger doesn’t know how to work a gun. A ten-year old would have more dexterity than this guy. This seems to be a theme with characters, especially hero character nowadays where they all hate guns. Seriously, I just have to ask, what is wrong with guns? I know that for some superheroes this makes sense. But this is the Lone Ranger. I think this guy would be a dead eye instead of some bumbling moron. Whoever this character Armie Hammer plays, it certainly isn’t The Lone Ranger.
I’m just going to say it… Fuck it… Johnny Depp gave a terrible performance. Yeah all the Depp fanboys and fangirls out there, I said it. Johnny fucking Depp is not immune from giving lousy performances. This entire film, the only thing that Depp does is recreate his Pirates of the Caribbean schtick and ham it up as this white guy playing a Comanche Native American whose covered up by white face paint. I would expect a film like Cannibal Holocaust to try to hide the fact that a tribal woman is being played by a white woman by covering her in mud… But I expect more out of a film that has a $200,000,000 budget.
Depp’s performance just feels lazy. It is just him doing what he does in front of the camera, bringing little to nothing new to the scene except for the fact that he is suppose to be an Indian. Jump all over me if you want, but I finally said it. It wasn’t a sub par performance, or a misplaced performance, it was a terrible performance!
But even then! I can see hiring Depp, the guy is talented and has a pretty impressive streak behind him… Armie Hammer… Why the hell is Armie Hammer in this film? This is completely against roles he has been in the past and he just feels completely out of place in this film. Not to mention the rest of the cast isn’t much better. Helen Bonham Carter is… Well her and the rest of the cast just doesn’t seem to gel.
In most movies, especially the ones that are bad I can still see the good idea within the mess… This thing… Even if they had taken every advice I threw out from this review… It still would have failed. This was a poorly conceived idea with little hope other than riding on marketing and the fact that Johnny Depp was in the movie. It puttered at the box office and there is good reason. There is very little that can even be found redeemable. There have been many critics who have criticized films for having these bloated $200,000,000 budgets and hopefully this along with films like The Green Lantern and Battleship can be a testament to stop with these overinflated spectacles.
Final Score 0.5/5
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