Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Lone Ranger (2013)



Some movies are brilliant, some movies should never have been made, and some fall in the middle. The Lone Ranger is one of those "middling" movies of dubious success and popularity. Whenever Tonto stepped on screen, which was a lot, my brain instantly jumped to Captain Jack Sparrow. Not good. I fear Johnny may be losing his ability to play anything other than the pirate rogue who stole our hearts in the early 2000s. He can no longer separate himself from Captain Jack and it shows in his acting. Which, unfortunately, is probably why the movie is bombing at the box office.

On the whole, it's a fun film. But, even more so than Pirates, it has needless innuendo that should make parents think twice about bringing their children. To say nothing of the violence. The villain? Well, let's just say that he likes to eat, yes EAT, the hearts of his enemies. Gross!! Isn't one Hannibal Lecter enough? The body count is also horrendous, literally off the charts. An entire tribe of American Indians is slaughtered in a scene near the end, pushing the movie out of the appropriate range for families with little ones. And you thought those superhero movies were bad with the death toll!

Helena Bonham Carter is probably the best thing in this movie, which says a lot since I rolled my eyes when I first heard she was going to be acting with Johnny Depp . . . AGAIN. Armie Hammer performs admirably as the Lone Ranger, but his character stems from pacifistic roots. He doesn't like to use a gun, and he doesn't like to kill people. I'm sorry, but you can't be a western hero without doing both. Another watered down western hero of modern Hollywood standards. This is why that wretched prequel to Bonanza failed, because they made Ben Cartwright a pacifist.

And Johnny Depp. Oh, Johnny, how I love you, but it's time to stop now. Maybe his movies would be more popular if he just let audiences see who he really is instead of this Sparrow facade. I'd like to see the real Johnny Depp. I saw him once, all those years ago in 21 Jumpstreet and Benny & Joon, but not since. I miss him.

While the humor is entertaining, I'm not sure it's worth the violence, and the last time I checked the movie is called The Lone Ranger, not Tonto. Yet, Johnny is undeniably the star with the biggest role. Poor Armie, totally side-swiped by a scene stealer. Still, I went, I saw, I conquered, and my final thought is that I like it, but I'm not sure how many people are western fans in today's society. I happen to be one, but I'm sure I'm in the minority.

7 comments:

  1. I also heard it's politically correct -- Tonto's pagan Indian religion is confirmed and admired, whereas the Christians are all portrayed as jackasses. I thought about taking Dad until the reviews started coming out -- ain't no way I'm corrupting his view of his favorite childhood hero.

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    1. I think the whole thing was just so weird that I was too stunned to be offended by Tonto's pagan beliefs. The villain does quote the Bible, though, so I wasn't lovin' that. My folks never really watched it, at least not my mom, so she really enjoyed the movie. Then again, I'm never sure what she's going to like or dislike, sort of like your mom and PotO. ;)

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  2. I'll see this one once it comes to DVD. It should be a fun watch even if it's not perfect. Since I don't know the story in its "original" form, I won't be bothered by the changes.

    My cousin saw it and enjoyed it.

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    1. I thought it was too brutal for a PG13 rating and not nearly as funny as it pretends to be. And it was hoky, which I guess is in keeping with the original show (I wouldn't know, since I haven't seen it either), but that helped in losing me. Maybe I'll like it better with a 2nd viewing. We'll see.

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  3. I loved this movie, but I'm wondering from some of what you said here if you're familiar with the original radio and TV shows? Because the Lone Ranger has always been a pacifist, in that he refuses to kill people. He shoots to wound, never to kill. If he can find a way to solve a situation without violence, he does.

    They did change some things around -- originally, John Reid was just as much of a Ranger as his brother Dan. But Tonto has kind of always been the brains behind the two of them -- in the original radio show and TV show, he's the one who saved John Reid's life, nursed him back to health, made him the mask from his dead brother's vest, gave him the name The Lone Ranger, helped him find and tame Silver... for a story that originated in the 1930s, its American Indian sidekick was remarkably important and intelligent. Not quite the equals that they are here, but that's a reflection more of the time in which it was made than of the characters themselves.

    As for Johnny Depp just playing Captain Jack Sparrow again -- I don't see it. Yes, he's got long hair. But Tonto is so far removed from Captain Jack. He has dignity, integrity, and a moral compass. All Jack Sparrow cares about, in the end, is his ship. Tonto seeks justice, and also to make amends for the wrong he did so long ago. Much as I love Captain Jack, he's a swaggering blowhard compared to Tonto.

    Okay, shutting up now.

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    1. No, that's okay. Always feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. And I totally admit that I haven't seen the original show so I'm not that familiar with the franchise. Maybe if I were, then I would have liked the movie better.

      Maybe I'll like it better with a second viewing, although I don't think I'll ever like the violence. The slaughter of all those Indians at the end was heartbreaking. I guess I just expected it to be more light-hearted so I was really shocked.

      Johnny Depp. I love him. But I'm tired of him being in these types of movies. I could have just not been in the mood for it the day I went to the theater. I guess I'll just have to watch it with a more open mind when it hits DVD. :)

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    2. Oh good! I'm glad you're not upset -- I realized this morning I might have come off a little strong. I'm just passionate about the subject, that's all.

      I definitely don't expect everyone in the world to like every movie I do, so I don't mind that you don't like it as much as I do -- in fact, I'm tickled to hear you're willing to give it a second chance! I just hoped to clear up some misconceptions :-)

      It's definitely an odd movie, and I don't love everything about it. The cannibalism? EW! The outlaw who loves him some aquamarine? Not a fan. But I identified with John Reid in a lot of ways, and overall I really liked it. So I'm verrrrrry excited for it to come to DVD on Tuesday :-D

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