Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Lone Ranger - A Review

I had the opportunity to view The Lone Ranger the other day.

Despite the poor attendance and dismal reviews, I liked this movie. It was far deeper and more complex than I imagined it would be. The interaction between Johnny Depp (the Ranger) and Armie Hammer (Tonto) was complex, funny and serious.

The story is set in the late 1800's but told as a narrative by Tonto to a young boy named Will during a fair in San Francisco during the 1930's. This narrative setting worked well and Johnny Depp's portrayal of Tonto is fantastic. The story is about how the Lone Ranger came to be "Lone" and I admit that I never knew the back story behind the larger than life hero portrayed by Clayton Moore for so many years on television. The relationship between The Lone Ranger and Tonto was an portrayed in the movie uneasy one which developed over time. I had expected a campy, corny, fun movie and saw instead movie about genocide, treachery, murder, and human trafficking to in the pursuit of greed and fortune. There are many very difficult scenes to watch in the movie which, in retrospect, I am not sure really needed to be part of the plot or story line.

The movie is a serious endeavor with humor often juxtaposed to help the audience overcome the depth of the tragedy just witnessed. The plot if deep with many twists and turns. The acting is very good, although there are no Oscar worthy performances. The villains are villainous, and the heroes are larger than life. I especially enjoyed the antics of the white horse--which eventually was named Silver in keeping with the history of the story. At one point Tonto utters that there is something not quite right about that horse. It is fun to watch the horse. It was also fun to watch the interplay between Depp and Hammer--they reminded me of the the interaction between Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr in Sherlock Holmes. I admit though, for the closing scenes hearing the familiar Lone Ranger Theme (William Tell Overture) was a blast from the past and provided the spectacular movie ending that I had come in search of--but it remained a serious ending to a difficult movie because of its tough and often graphic reality.

I read a fair and even review of the movie that carefully lays out the positives and negatives of the film in   The Nerdist. I found it to be very accurate and I generally agree with it.

RECOMMENDATION: I liked the movie. The movie is not suitable for the pre-teen group due to its graphic nature and difficult subject matter which includes inferences of prostitution based in a western setting in addition to a particularly disturbing murder scene. One reviewer suggested that it was the most generous PG-13 rating in a long time. I agree! Based upon the violence and the subject matter an R rating might be more applicable.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Jupiter, FL

1 comment:

Betsy Harrigan said...

Glad to hear you liked it, Bob. I'm gonna go see it.

Did not like Man of Steel! What a disappointment.


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