The Lone Ranger.
Gore Verbinski (director of the first three Pirates of the Caribbeans) teams up with Johnny Depp again for another Disney adventure, aimed at all ages and hoping that Depp’s strange charisma can create another franchise. Does it pay off?
Armie Hammer (The Social Network) stars as the title character, who is believed to be dead and uses this to his advantage to get revenge for his fallen brother. Johnny Depp stars as his Native American partner Tonto. The basic story is that a railroad is going through the wild west and tension is high with the nearby Comanche tribe. Other actors include Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, and Helena Bonham Carter.
Armie Hammer works as a lead hero, though I think the script doesn’t give us much to care about. This is his first big outing as the lead and he manages to hold up the movie. William Fichtner as the villian is pretty outstanding as well (and does some horrifying things that really get us to believe that he’s truly evil).
What doesn’t work?
Most of this movie.
Let’s start with the casting. Johnny Depp probably did everything that Verbinski told him to do but it still comes off as extremely offensive. Maybe I live in a world where I notice that stuff more, but I’d be curious to hear the perspective of a Native American and how they perceived this film.
Helena Bonham Carter didn’t need to be in this movie, but maybe Johnny Depp has a clause in his contract guaranteeing her a role.
Now… You might think this movie would be similar to Pirates of the Caribbean (in tone, mostly). However, this movie lacked the laughs that Pirates brought. And in terms of action scenes, it had plenty but it lacked originality. If anything, it just made me want to play Red Dead Redemption. Also, this movie is really dark. Like… hundreds of people die in this movie. That, mixed with the lack of humor, gave me a really weird feeling. I didn’t enjoy it, which is a problem (obviously).
And then… add in the factor that this movie is two and a half hours long. This is way too long.
Also, this movie has a strange narrative structure, where someone is telling this story in the future but I never really understood why and it didn’t really payoff.
Aaaaannnnnnddddd…. There’s something in the middle of the credits. But it has zero payoff and is absolutely not worth staying for. Waste of time.
This is a movie that’s too long and has terrifying moments that somehow don’t impact our heroes and therefore seem irrelevant. The narrative structure is an odd choice and the plot is unnecessarily complicated by characters that don’t matter. You would want a fun and colorful adventure, based on your expectations, and you don’t get that from this film. I don’t expect this to spawn a franchise, luckily. Don’t waste your time in theaters, wait for it to stream on Netflix.