Johnny Depp, Arnie Hammer, The Lone Ranger

Movie Review: The Lone Ranger (2013)

The Lone Ranger

OK.  Let’s get this out-of-the-way.  The Lone Ranger is not the worst movie of 2013.  It had the good fortune to occur in the same calendar year as You’re Next.  Short of someone shooting a three-hour nature study of horse apples, You’re Next is secure in being the worst motion picture of 2013 (and quite possibly the decade).  However, if you would like to see an iconic American hero dragged through a pile of horse apples (unfortunately not a metaphor), then Gore Verbinski has delivered the definitive version of The Lone Ranger.I have a particular love of this character born, oddly, of the last disastrous attempt to bring him to the screen.  When I was a small boy, my mom bought a kid’s picture book adaptation of the 1980’s Lone Ranger movie, and I read it a few hundred times.  I had Lone Ranger and Tonto action figures. I had the horses.  Fortunately, I never saw (and still haven’t) the movie, which I’m given to understand may even be worse than this movie was.  I hardly see how that’s possible, but I suppose it IS feasible given that this movie at least had a great score by Hans Zimmer incorporating the famous William Tell Overture theme.

Arnie Hammer, Johnny Depp, The Lone Ranger

Arnie Hammer plays the titular character and his previous acting experience was playing the twins in The Social Network.  Johnny Depp stretches the make-up driven madness that began in The Pirates of the Caribbean to its ultimate low point.  They are both awful.  I expected Hammer to be awful.  Depp is/was/may still be a great actor.

This movie somehow cost upwards of $250 million to make and that’s before marketing.  If Disney hadn’t the good fortune to have had a gaggle of other films to balance this out, this would have been a financial disaster even the Mouse would have felt.  As it is, you would think it would be the end of people throwing sacks of cash at Depp to be eccentric in make-up, but he’s already signed to reprise his Mad Hatter in Through the Looking Glass.  The phrase “Academy-Award winning director Gore Verbinski” needs to be stopped.  Verbinski won his Oscar for F/X.  He directed ONE good movie.  There needs to be a restraining order issued keeping him and Tim Burton away from Johnny Depp for the rest of his career.

Johnny Depp, Tonto, The Lone Ranger

If I haven’t summarized the plot to the film, it’s because ….why?  It has to do with the railroad.  There’s only so much time I can devote to dwelling on this film, because-as I mentioned-I LIKE THIS CHARACTER.  It makes me mad that it was treated as disrespectfully as this and not only is the movie just plain bad on its own, the entire story is told in flashbacks.  The actual setting is 1933 San Francisco where a withered Tonto who is making a living as a wax statue in a Western side-show, tells the story to a kid dressed as the Lone Ranger.

Johnny Depp, Arnie Hammer, The Lone Ranger

This truly is one of the worst blockbuster bombs in modern Hollywood history.  I made a commitment to review the last 10 films of people I intent to profile in another column and in order to not wait another ten films to write-up Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Wilkinson or Hans Zimmer, I had to watch this.  You do not have to do this to yourselves.  Walk away, kemosabe.  Just walk away.
1.25/10 (ALL for Zimmer’s score)

5 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Lone Ranger (2013)”

  1. My theroy is that Depp, like a werewolf, is slowly, inexorably transforming into a mime.
    I always get the sense that he is having fun. The weird costumes and makeup obviously free him up and make him uninhibited. But at this point in his career his act has entered into the realm of the surreal, and not in a good way. He takes it too far, and with each passing film he allows it to be taken even farther. The problem is not so much that he is wearing a dead crow on his head; the problem is that he feeds it.
    But—and I hope I don’t lose all credibility here—I honestly kind of liked this movie. It was unexpectedly dark and weird. Don’t get me wrong; I know the line that seperates a good film from from a bad one, and The Lone Ranger is tottering precariously over the bad side. And yes, this film is a cynical calculation designed to replicate the success of the Pirates movies. But the reasons I enjoyed it are probably not the same reasons the filmmakers were counting on.
    I WAS disturbed by the level of violence in a Disney release. Perhaps the film flopped because of all the people (such as yourself) who thought it was REALLY bad, but the graphic violence did not help. The ugliness that runs through the film was a huge mistake.
    Despite my generous opinion of the film, I acknowledge that Lone Ranger was a movie that did not need to happen on a number of levels, and that Rango will always be THE Depp/Verbinski Western.


    1. Ok, here’s my theory about you. You are the Linus of movie reviewers. You’re always looking for something good and even when the rest of us see Tonto drag The Lone Ranger through a literal pile of horse crap and are staring at the sky screaming AAAAAAAAARRRRRGH, you’re still giving things the benefit of the doubt. It helps understand how you can watch Attack of the Clones multiple times and I mean it as a compliment. Disney IS taking this out on Bruckheimer and someone should. They went over schedule over budget….I mean they spent a quarter of a billion dollars on a WESTERN! Clint Eastwood could have made 50 of them for that amount of money. This WAS reeeeeeeallly bad and not so much a great choice to watch as a mood changer on Christmas Eve. I have a cabinet full of silver bullets with names on them, cast and crew of the Lone Ranger (except you Hans, you’re cool). Stay clear of me!


  2. I laughed and laughed at this movie. I was thinking it was going to be a serious take on the Lone Ranger (yeah, yeah I know…even with Johnny Depp). But very quickly as the movie progressed I was laughing and having a great time watching these two.

    Johnny Depp is a master at facial expressions and this type of comedic timing. Sort of like Jack Sparrow but without the flamboyance. I was totally entertained the whole time he was in a scene in this “long” movie which went by very fast. The other actors also did a good supporting job with just enough drama to add to this movie rather than distract.

    The scenery is awesome and the action scenes are beautifully photographed or green screened, CGI’d or real…whatever. I have nothing negative to say about this one…funny, no gratuitous sex, violence or language, imo. Just fun. What a nice break…I do believe I’m going to see it again!

    More about the movie you can also find it here


    1. Well, you truly are able to see the good in everything then because even as a comedy I couldn’t find anything enjoyable past Zimmer’s score. But, since they spent a large hunk of a billion dollars on it, I’m glad someone enjoyed Disney’s take.


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