The Lone Ranger Review

The Lone Ranger (Carter, Hammer and Depp)

Before seeing The Lone Ranger I had heard it would be nothing more than Jack Sparrow in the Wild West. After watching it, I can safely say that this is not the case at all.

The Lone Ranger is in fact a wonderfully crafted re-imagined classic western show, made all the brighter by yet another colourful performance from Johnny Depp.

Before even hitting our shores, The Lone Ranger is already being written off as this year’s big summer flop, scarred by a troubled production history and left reeling from a rotten turn at the US box office. Yes, the film has its flaws – be it the absence of any real focus, or the two and a half hour length – but the movie still contains more than enough flammable moments to make it explosively enjoyable.  

That said, I do find it a little difficult to see where the huge budget was spent, as there are no over-the-top effects, and the scenery, although beautiful, is certainly not extravagant.

The Lone Ranger (Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer)Armie Hammer co-stars as John Reid, who arrives in Colby, Texas with a smart suit and a copy of John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government under his arm. Reid is a firm believer in the rule of law – until, that is, the outlaw Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner) kills someone dear to him, his brother, and in a truly bizarre moment, cuts his heart out.

Left for dead in the desert, Reid is rescued by Tonto (Johnny Depp), a Comanche loner with a few issues of his own – oh, and a dead crow on his head. Tonto believes that Reid has been chosen as the ‘Spirit Walker’.

Together, Reid and Tonto unite to bring Butch to justice. The conspiracy they unearth also involves Tom Wilkinson’s venal railroad baron, Cole, who has a love of silver and dreams of a continent brought together by steam, and will let nothing stand in his way to achieve it, even if it means starting an illegal war with the Comanche.

Hammer is impressive enough as John Reid, aka The Lone Ranger. However, much like anyone who has previously attempted it, he is outshone by the incredibly talented Johnny Depp, who has yet again managed to put his own distinctive stamp on a character, whilst propelling that character from supporting role to lead.

The Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter)The supporting cast are also pretty good, especially Fichtner’s dark and brutal portrayal of the main antagonist, Butch Cavendish, who is the perfect contrast to Depp’s Tonto.

Director Gore Verbinski has taken a braver approach here compared to the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films, borrowing heavily from the likes of John Ford and Sergio Leone, as well as Buster Keaton – especially in the rip-roaring train sequence. The dazzlingly beautiful landscapes in the film are unmistakably those of John Ford, but the nation of thieves and scumbags who creep across them are pure Sergio Leone.

Hans Zimmer’s rousing score uses Rossini’s William Tell Overture on a number of occasions, adding a little nostalgia to the film. 

The Lone Ranger may be swimming upstream as it hits our shores, but it’s one of the best films I have seen so far this year, eclipsing the likes of Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel. Don’t listen to the naysayers – go out and see it for yourself.

The Lone Ranger is out in the UK on 9 August.

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