Evan Burkey

Review: The Lone Ranger

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The biggest question to ask yourself before deciding to see The Lone Ranger is this: Did you like the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise? Because it’s basically the same movie in a new setting. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The Pirates franchise was so successful because they were solid films. Popcorn munchers, sure, but I enjoyed them quite well. I’ll admit that it is easy to peg The Lone Ranger with a “just like Pirates” title and move on, but I feel that it works quite well. The same mix of actually humorous one-liners mixed with pumping action sequences makes for an entertaining summer blockbuster.

The film is a pretty standard trip through the western “unlikely hero” trope. Armie Hammer goes through the transformation of straight-laced lawyer John Reid to the masked hero we came to see. Hammer’s performance felt very stiff, though I think that partially comes from the character that he is portraying. Johnny Depp puts in a very funny performance as Tanto, and I thought that he worked well for the over-the-top “crazy indian” character. I must admit that Depp’s part had me laughing out loud time and time again, even if it was very silly and slapstick.

Special consideration should be made for William Fichtner who plays one of the film’s villains, Butch Cavendish. While Fichtner’s acting chops are never in question (the man has played many iconic characters of the years), his performance as Cavendish was fantastic. Every time he is on screen, Fichtner further solidified Cavendish as a despicable, true-to-life western villain that was the perfect foil for The Lone Ranger.

One thing that I feel bears mentioning is the amount of violence in this film. While I am not one to shy from such things, I was surprised at how The Lone Ranger does not pull punches at some of the more disturbing parts of this story. There are several scenes where it really pushes the PG-13 envelope. Usually these Bruckheimer/Disney films are on the tamer side of the PG-13 rating, so I was surprised to see more blood and violence than I expected.

So is The Lone Ranger worth your time? It really depends on your taste. If, like myself, you enjoy films that are light on plot but heavy on action and humor, then you will enjoy this movie. I certainly did.

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