‘The Lone Ranger’ Movie Review – A Long and Inconsistent Engagement
In Disney’s latest film, The Lone Ranger, Armie Hammer (The Social Network) and Johnny Depp team up as outcasts trying to bring an end to corruption and bring the guilty to justice.
Directed by Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean), the movie follows John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, who has a chance encounter with Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp), a man on his own journey for justice. Following a tragic turn of event, John Reid decides to ride with Tonto and sport the iconic mask to enforce the law.
I didn’t really have expectations either way for The Lone Ranger when I went to see it, I was just curious to find out what Johnny Depp and Disney had in store for us this time. The movie started out really well, I was enjoying myself immensely and loved the chemistry between Depp and Hammer, their banter was really the strength of the film. But unfortunately, as the movie went along, things started to turn around and I found myself watching a totally different movie than where we started.
While The Lone Ranger is not a bad movie and I can’t say that I disliked it, it regrettably had lots of shortcomings. One of the flaw that is indisputable is the length of the film. With a running time of 150 minutes, it could have been cut by at least 30-40 minutes without affecting the story. I have nothing against long movies as long as the additional time adds something to the story, in this case it just made the movie wear on.
Another failing was the inconsistent tone of the film. As I mentioned, I loved the beginning of the film as the relationship between Reid and Tonto gets established. It had a light tone mixed with a more serious subplot, but somehow in the middle of it, we lost the humor with the movie becoming more serious. And then it transformed again into something that I can only describe as very cartoonish. All of these tones are not bad in and of themselves but having them mixed up in this way it felt like the movie didn’t know what it wanted to be and it’s just confusing for the audience. I wish they had kept the humor throughout, similar to what the Iron Man movies do, it wouldn’t have prevented the more serious moments from touching the audience and would have felt consistent.
And finally, as much as I enjoyed Armie Hammer, his character at some point just felt a bit too naive that it made him somehow unlikable, which is definitely not a good thing when you’re supposed to root for him.
That said, there were also plenty I enjoyed. As I mentioned the banter between Hammer and Depp was great and both of them were really fun to watch as well. And William Fichtner who plays the main villain, Butch Cavendish, was a big stand out for me as well. I enjoyed his evilness.
The Lone Ranger also has some beautiful action sequences most of them involving trains of course. That opening sequence will put you right in the middle of the action, it’s worth seeing. I also really loved the look of the film.
Overall, The Lone Ranger is not the best movie you’ll see this summer, but if you feel like watching a fun action movie with Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer bantering and don’t mind the two and a half hour running time you should definitely check it out.
The Lone Ranger is out in theaters today, June 3rd. You can watch the trailer for the movie here.