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“The Lone Ranger” – Early Review (SO-SO POSITIVE)

July 2, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 8.41.34 AMI’m not sure what the hate is regarding Gore Verbinski’s “The Lone Ranger”, I myself was somebody who originally wasn’t looking forward to this film one bit. Turns out the movie surprised the hell out of me and I throughly enjoyed it. Sure, the movie can be a convoluted mess at times, what summer movie isn’t (“Man of Steel”)? In the end, what I took away from this EPIC western was the fact that it had the big budget and took it to some good use by making a Western that just about everyone can enjoy.

Native American spirit warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice-taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.

The Western genre is a dying breed, we’re lucky if we get one a year. However, I like to think that since post Coen’s “True Grit”, Hollywood has made a stance on this genre and try to find news ways to breath new life into it (“Django Unchained”). “The Lone Ranger” borrows a lot of classic elements from some of my favorite western’s; “The Wild Bunch” here, “Once Upon a Time in the West” there, and a dash of the Man With No Name series.

But of course, this is a film from the team behind the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, that in its own right can be a double-edged sword (no pun intended). There’s A LOT of action in this movie, perhaps too much for a western, the filmmakers try their very best to top the next sequence events. Seems like it’s borrowing similar notions to “Man of Steel”, the last half hour of the film can be a big roll of the eyes or a major cheer from fans of the original Lone Ranger persona. That theme song is pure power, cheesy or not.

Performance wise, the movies only shining light is Johnny Depp as Tonto, which I’m still conflicted if that performance I saw was genuine or just a big joke on the entire audience. He wasn’t doing a Jack Sparrow, that’s for sure, but it did seem a bit taboo for it’s own good. Armie Hammer held his grown as the Lone Ranger, but he was a tad bit whiney and complaining a lot, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think the original Lone Ranger from the serials acted like that.

It’s no “Pirates 1”, but it’s fun and it’s an amusing twist on the Western lore. I found myself wide eyed with excitment from beginning to end, perhaps a tad more so than “Man of Steel”, but no way does this movie come out better in the story department than “Man Of Steel” or “Star Trek Into Darkness”.

GRADE: B-

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