Native American spirit warrior Tonto recounts the untold stories that changed John Reid, a very straight laced wimp of a law man into a legend of peace and justice. Tonto (Depp) and John Reid (Armie Hammer) are kind of thrown together when after an ambush by the notorious Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner) and his men goes horrible wrong, John’s brother and most of the other Texas Rangers are dead and John presumed dead when Tonto encounters the scene. Out of respect he buries the men thinking John is dead he gets a surprise when he actually isn’t. The rest of the story see’s the two of these unlikely heroes learning how to work together despite their constant bickering to fight against greed and corruption.
For those of you who didn’t know, The Lone Ranger is actually a remake of what was originally a TV series from the 50’s, Produced by the big guns in the game Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer you’d expect big things from this American western action comedy right? Big budgets should mean great entertaining scripts but I’m afraid we don’t get this here. However the western landscapes were pretty impressive to the eye, but it has to be said pretty much everything else about this film was highly disappointing, I would go as far as to saying just a bit of a mess.
We have a running time issue with this film; does any Disney film really need to run for 2 hours and 20 minutes? It actually takes John about an hour before he transforms himself into “The Lone Ranger”, of course we want to see some of the back story of how he eventually becomes a legendary man of justice but this is just dragged out for way too long. The rest of the hour and 20 minutes is just filled messily with goonish capers, overstuffed with too much imagination. OK, yes this is meant to be a comedy but for the most part the comedy writers really haven’t delivered, well unless you’re below a particular very young age you may just get a snigger or two.
In the lead roles we do have two big names in the form of the extremely lovely Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as John Reid/The Lone Ranger. However with Depp’s Tonto you think either Disney have told him to keep the spirit alive of a previous character we all know and love, Jack Sparrow from The Pirates of the Caribbean. Nearly everything about this role from his walk to the “humour” oozes Sparrow. Armie Hammer’s John Reid/The Lone Ranger is all very wooden and very unconvincing. It does seem that Hammer, for research into his character, watched one too many of the original series and took on the 50’s acting style, Making his performance just a little too false and over the top. Other top named cast appearing in this film is Helena Bonham Carter in yet another all too familiar role as a brassy madam of a brothel and William Fichtner (The Entourage, Prison Break) as the evil Butch Cavendish, the best played out character of the whole film.
Overall, The Lone Ranger is a simply film, entertaining in parts yet way too long, Whilst the production team have got the landscape and costumes pretty spot on for the time period being covered the poor and messy storyline leave the audience wanting something more to justify the length of this film, a major disappointment.
The Lone Ranger is in cinemas August 9