You would think the combination of Johnny Depp, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and a limitless budget would guarantee a giant pile of guilty pleasure fun with the new take on "The Lone Ranger".
One of America's most enduring cowboys and Native Americans both get makeovers in this massively produced and expensive telling of The Lone Ranger, but the end result is an overly-seriously, overly done, far too long and too serious telling of these great characters.
The story: John Reid (Armie Hammer) is a lawyer who comes to the progressing American West. His brother Dan Reid (James Badge Dale) is a fearless Texas Ranger who provides protection to the Indians already occupying the land the new Trans Continental Railroad wants to use to continue to build train tracks.
Outlaw Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner) is a bad, bad man who leads is gang of murdering thugs under the secret direction of someone with bad intentions.
And Tonto (Johnny Depp) is the lndian who recruits John Reid to be his partner when all hell breaks loose in an attempt to exact revenge and provide real justice in a lawless land.
The People: Depp is great as Tonto. He uses a series of stunted sentences and relies of his array of facial expressions to convey a handful of funny emotions. But after a while his bit as Tonto feels played. Tom Wilkinson plays the railroad tycoon Cole, and he's always good in just about everything he does.
Fichtner is good as the heavy. The rest? Meh ...
Action Scenes: Not as many as you might think. This film takes itself way too seriously with a story that is obviously setting up The Lone Ranger II and The Lone Ranger III.
There is a quality shootout scene in the beginning with one or two other brief skirmishes, and the finale is fantastic. The film just needed more western action and less of a story that tries too hard to be something it didn't need to be.
Eye Candy: It's a western, so not so much.
Homages to the Original: The film basically waits until the very end to rely on the rousing The William Tell Overture, and when it does it lands a major hit. The score never fails. It is the ideal background to a fun finale.
Should you see it: It's 149 minutes and at times it feels like 349 minutes. Wait until it hits DVD/Blu Ray.
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