In Defense of The Lone Ranger – A Movie Review

I watched The Lone Ranger the other night on DVD.  I didn’t start it until about 9:30, and I fully expected to watch about an hour before turning in for the night and finishing it later.  This broke my heart, because I adored The Lone Ranger as a child.  But, it seemed every critic in the world hated it, I didn’t hear any good buzz amongst friends, so I prepared myself for the worst and considered it a labor of love.

Well, I’m a tired guy today because I stayed up past midnight watching The Lone Ranger – I couldn’t turn it off!  I loved it.  I didn’t just like it, I loved it. Loved it.  I really and truly have no idea why people hate this movie so much.

Is it silly?  Yes, at times.  Tonto and The Lone Ranger are funny, and it has some great laughs in it.  But it’s also full of adventure, nonstop action, amazing effects, and a thorough story comprised of an interesting structure that gives each character his due.  In fact, they stuck pretty closely to the initial origins of The Lone Ranger when he first arrived on the radio waves in 1933.

The costumes were beautiful, the locations were magnificent, and the general filmography took my breath away.  Depp and Hammer, the actors playing Tonto and The Lone Ranger, seemed to have genuine charisma with each other, and I especially appreciated that they did not rush the characters’ relationship.  It took two and a half hours, but they eventually formed a bond that can’t just happen in a few scenes.

Much of the comedy arose from The Lone Ranger’s initial ineptitude at vigilantism.  He was an educated prosecutor returned to his hometown and found himself in a horrible situation, one that even his incredibly apt Texas Ranger brother couldn’t escape.  They played heavily on the fact that the wrong brother became The Lone Ranger, but by doing so, it made us appreciate the man under the mask all the more.  Tonto, depicted as both incredibly wise and half nuts by Depp, had some great lines, especially at the expense of The Lone Ranger.

Was it too silly?  Was there too much comedy?  I think if the action hadn’t been so big, the thrills so consistent, there may have been a danger of it being too slapstick.  But honestly, this is a well-conceived story with some exquisite scenes, as well as some very serious moments that added depth to the characterization.  I’m not saying it deserves an Academy Award, but as a lifelong Lone Ranger fan, I had zero issues with it.  Frankly, I’m okay with my childhood heroes having a little levity.  They’ve taken Batman to the extreme, and even Superman seemed to lack any joy in his latest outing.  I was actually kind of relieved that they gave us a Lone Ranger that didn’t seem like a genocidal/suicidal psychopath.

All in all, The Lone Ranger is far better than you’ve heard.  Maybe I don’t know anything about what makes a good movie, but for me, the two and a half hours flew by and I enjoyed myself immensely.


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