First, we were really excited to see this movie because we’d seen so many trailers and advertisements. I found out that there was one showing the day before the official opening. So, feeling like we’d won the jackpot, we went as a family and were delighted to find the movie theater not crowded. My youngest, 13, has only just started seeing PG-13 movies in the theater (meaning ones we haven’t previewed and watching things at home is less intense than in a dark, large, loud theater.)I wish we hadn’t brought her. Not that there was a lot of swearing, or a lot of sex (there were saloon hall girls who obviously sold more than drinks.) However, there is a moment where the villain cuts the heart out of one of the rangers which is terribly disturbing. Families with young children BEWARE!
By the end the film was the movie ride a lot of fun. The final train sequence was brilliantly designed and executed.But…there were a lot dumb/silly jokes that weren’t clever, like Silver standing up a tree wearing the Lone Ranger’s hat. And too many puzzled stares by Johnny Depp at the camera. And the Army officer who was some writer’s vision of the “caricature” of Custer. (Having just visited Little Big Horn it was very easy to envision what might have happened had Custer had a bit more technology.)
As a historian, the reference to Promontory Point—in—Utah, which they called Promontory Summit (or something) annoyed me as was the obvious filming in the Valley of the Gods in Monument Valley, Utah and them saying it was Texas.And, I’m not going to say anything about the dumb bird and all the just flat bird jokes—like Tanto sticking his head in a birdcage. Sigh.
I’m not fully sure the significance of the little boy who Tonto tells the story to throughout the movie. I kept thinking of the grandson in The Princess Bride—there to interrupt the story at significant points to build the tension. Who was he? Why did he know the tale of the Lone Ranger? Why should he recognize Tonto? It didn’t make sense.As a theater person, I thought it an interesting choice that everyone was dirty. All the makeup was done dusty and dark…I suppose to add the desert feel—it didn’t.
And, not that Tom Wilkinson didn't do a decent job as the villain, but because I know he's British (like Helena Bonham Carter) I did not buy his accent as solid or consistent (nor hers). I felt bad that Helena looked painted up like the chick from Hunger Games--only a shadow of a character, not a fully developed one--but that's not her fault, nor her leg's.
I loved the clever use of The William Tell Overture by Rossini which has been used as The Lone Ranger’s theme since radio serial days.Armie Hammer and his clean good-looks did well with his honest, sincere portrayal of a man battling internally and growing as his world falls apart—once we got over the dumb, “I’m a city-slicker lawyer and the law is all we need” beginning of his character development. And the chemistry between John and Rebecca was palpable. I would have liked to see more of them together on screen. It was super.
All in all?It’s no Pirates of the Caribbean. The storyline, characters and charm isn’t there.
But…if you’re caught in three digit heat and you don’t have young children (or plan to cover their eyes) then it’s worth the price of admission.