Pirates of the Car... errr.... The Lone Ranger (2013) | Movie Review

Johnny Depp in The Lone Ranger

Release date:  July 3, 2013
Runtime: 2 hr. 29 min.
MPAA Rating: PG-13

What if I told you there was a movie, in which Johnny Depp has long hair, a bandana and lots of makeup? What if I also told you Gore Verbinski was directing and Jerry Bruckheimer was producing? Would that sound like Pirates of the Caribbean to you? Well, it sure did to me and the previews didn't convince me differently. Let's be honest: Johnny Depp's Tonto is just good old Captain Jack Sparrow in different makeup.

The film has a rather lengthy and elaborate setup, which is a bit tough to talk about without giving spoilers, so I'm going to only briefly describe what happens. In the beginning, we have two brothers: John Reid (Armie Hammer) and Dan Reid (James Badge Dale). Dan is a fearless Texas ranger and John is a lawyer, who values justice above all else and doesn't seem to believe in guns. John is on a train, coming to visit his brother, but the train is also transporting Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner) - an outlaw en route to his hanging. Butch tries to escape, Tonto (chained up next to him) tries to stop him and so does John, but Butch succeeds. After that, the movie becomes an epic chase of a couple of good guys versus a lot of bad guys.

The Lone Ranger  really isn't as bad as critics make it seem. It's not the greatest movie ever made or a potential classic, but it doesn't try to be one either. It's silly and ridiculous, but it's also reasonably fun. I did think it was about 30 minutes too long: the story itself was fine, but occasionally things took longer than necessary to develop or had too many details. The overall feel is very similar to the Pirates of the Caribbean  franchise, but it doesn't come together quite as good. Still, I think if you're a fan of that type of entertainment, like I am, you will find this movie to be quite enjoyable and funny. For me, this was a comedy rather than any other genre.  

It's almost silly that the movie is called The Lone Ranger - it might as well have been called "Tonto and the Wrong Brother". This isn't Armie Hammer's fault - I think he's a very talented actor and easy on the eyes. The "problem" is that Johnny Depp's charisma will steal the scene (or, in this case, the entire film) from anyone: he was the lead and star of this movie. William Fichtner deserves praise for being absolutely despicable: his Butch Cavendish is a terrible human being and you know an actor is doing a good job when you absolutely loathe the character.

In the end, I enjoyed The Lone Ranger  for what it was and I had some good laughs along the way. I don't think it's movie that needs to be seen in a theatre, but if you find yourself in the mood for something light and adventurous - go for it. Or maybe stay home and just watch Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl  again. In fact, I think I'm going to do that tomorrow.