Johnny Depp being Johnny Depp.
You know what I mean:
The aloof, crazy, but possibly wise, character in white make-up trying desperately to carry a thin story. We've seen this too many times before from Mr. Depp: ALICE IN WONDERLAND, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, DARK SHADOWS, SWEENY TODD and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES (sans the white make-up, but heavy on the eyeliner). THE LONE RANGER is not the worst of the films listed, but it's not much better.
Gore Verbinski has directed nine features and Johnny Depp has starred in five of them.
They teamed up for the first three PIRATES, RANGO and now, THE LONE RANGER.
Depp and Verbinski were incredibly successful on the first four collaborations.
They revived a long-forgotten Disney franchise and RANGER is an attempt to revive another.
This latest effort plays like a Western Version of the PIRATES films, minus the fun banter. Instead of a family-friendly, franchise starter, we get a violent and hollow film that is crowded and hard to follow. Verbinski's talent for grand and elaborate action is displayed very well in a few jaw dropping sequences involving moving trains, but it could not overcome the (often brutal) dialogue and pacing.
Firstly, the film is called THE LONE RANGER, but the title character is really the second lead.
Tonto (Johnny Depp) is the star of the film and every joke revolves around him or a horse.
The would-be Lone Ranger, John Reid (Armie Hammer), is not really a Ranger at all, but rather a stuffy lawyer who is out of place in the West. Tonto and Reid team up to go after an arch criminal who murdered Reid's brother, an actual Ranger.
The whole film is on autopilot from there.
I could start getting into the story, which revolves around railroad building, but it's useless. Tonto and Reid get into hi-jinks, learn about each other and themselves and you've seen it all before. I appreciate that Verbinski tried his best to give us a large-scale, modern Western, but at two and a half hours, it really needed to be more entertaining.
The big action takes place in the beginning and the end, leaving us with an eternal "middle". They relied on Depp for sight gags and one-liners, but didn't provide any secondary characters of value. It's long and boring and it never gets fun. Instead of buffoonish old-west baddies, we get dark and sick villains, like Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner). His defining quality: he literally cuts outs people's hearts and eats them. The body count and harsh violence were very out of place in a film that should have been a romp.
I really hope that Johnny Depp will ditch the make-up after this film flops (it already has).
He was once one of coolest actors in Hollywood and his past efforts (Top 5 Here) show that he has incredible skills. We know that PIRATES 5 and now, ALICE IN WONDERLAND 2 are in the pipeline for Depp, but hopefully, some day, he will go back to doing work where his character is in touch with the real world and his face isn't covered in paint.
2 Stars Out Of 5
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