Screen Gems Movie Reviews
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The Lone Ranger July 12, 2013
The Lone Ranger
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some suggestive material.

Brought to you by the team that created "Pirates Of The Caribbean", director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer once again join forces for "The Lone Ranger."

And they've even brought Captain Jack Sparrow along for the ride.

Johnny Depp plays Tonto, and the story is told through his eyes. Now an old man serving as a carnival curiosity in the 1930s, the Native American tells a young boy wearing a mask the story of how the Lone Ranger came to be.

The scene shifts to the old west, where Armie Hammer's John Reid is returning to his home as the new county prosecutor. But his train ride is interrupted by a chance meeting with Tonto.

The two separate, but are brought back together after Reid and his brother, along with fellow Texas Rangers, are betrayed, ambushed and killed while on the hunt for the bad guy Butch Cavendish.

However, with Tonto's help Reid survives. He is convinced that he must conceal his identity to protect his loved ones, so he becomes the masked rider of the plains.

"The Lone Ranger" gets a lot of things right. The canyon massacre. Tonto's role in convincing Reid to put on the mask. The hunt for Cavendish, which uncovers an even bigger plot involving the transcontinental railroad.

Verbinski pieces together some incredible action sequences at the beginning and the end of the film. However, it is the middle part that drags a bit. This film needed some judicious editing to cut down on its running time and tighten its story.

There has been heavy criticism of Depp's portrayal of Tonto. Yes, he is a bit off-center, but nowhere near as eccentric as Jack Sparrow, even if he does insist on feeding the dead crow that he wears on his head. In this version Tonto is more of a partner than a sidekick and I liked that modernization of the relationship.

But in a big miss, Hammer's Lone Ranger is a reluctant hero. Too reluctant for my tastes. It's almost as if he falls into the role of hero by accident. I wanted more conviction from Reid as he sets out to bring justice to the old west.

Thankfully, his horse fares a little better. Silver is smart and winds up in the strangest places. He saves the day more than once and he's used for quick comic relief. It works.

Despite some breathtaking pictures and a stirring score by Hans Zimmer, too much fluff in the middle keeps this from being a truly epic ride.

On my rating scale, "The Lone Ranger" earns a double.

Screen Gems Score


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