Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Ultimate Disney List 3: "The Lone Ranger (2013)"

Never take off the mask.

Pirates of the Old West

      The next film up on The Ultimate Disney List, is the 2013 film The Lone Ranger, one of the biggest box office bombs of all time. Based on the original radio show, television show and film, The Lone Ranger is directed by Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl) and was written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl) as well as by Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road). The film follows Tonto (Johnny Depp... ugh) as help helps guide the newly undead John Reid (Armie Hammer) into become the masked Lone Ranger. Going up against madman Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner) in order to get revenge and help widow Rebecca (Ruth Wilson) and railroad man Cole (Tom Wilkinson), Tonto and the Ranger must first learn to get along if they are to save anyone. I say again, ugh...


      Mostly likely the thing that made The Lone Ranger fall apart was the fact the people who made the film still seem to think that So-Dark-It's-Gritty is still the best way to do anything. And Johnny Depp played Tonto. Ugh. In all seriousness though, the sheer mess that is The Lone Ranger is staggering. The film desperately tries to make the whole thing dark and serious while all the while still having the original's supernatural element to it. At one point were told that all the supernatural stuff Tonto does is simply insanity, even though he's teamed up with an undead Texas Ranger and a magic horse. And that's kinda the film in a nutshell. Whenever the film seems to be getting into more supernatural elements or, you know, gets interesting or fun, the filmmakers bring it back down with dark, soul-crushing seriousness. If you've ever wanted a supposedly family film from Disney with a villain that's a cannibal for no real reason, that boy are you a freak.

The West Was Done

      The film's pained attempts at being "adult" just reduce the film to the worst thing a movie can be: boring. Once you get past the bad script, bored acting, lame setpieces, terrible story turns, odd bookends and the fact that Johnny Depp playing native-american Tonto isn't any less racist than it sounds, The Lone Ranger reveals itself as a sleep-inducingly overlong two and a half hours of boredom. The only part that kinda gets to be fun was the film action setpiece on a train (For the fourth time in the same film) that gets some music playing and shuts the characters up for about 15 minutes. And thank god for that. When not being a stereotype, Depp is about as annoying as it comes and Hammer looks like he wished he had never come. And I honestly don't blame him.

The Verdict

      The Lone Ranger is about as bad a summer blockbuster as it gets. Save for a mildly fun last setpiece and the fact that the film look alright, there isn't a single redeeming thing about the movie. Racist, messy and boring, the film mocks the goofyness of the original and replaces the fun with dark, aggravating seriousness. The film smugly shows off Depp and how adult it is, not noticing that the entire audience has fallen asleep. The Lone Ranger (2013) gets a 1 and a half stars out of 6.

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