THE big-budget western of 2013 is here and it’s less-than-overwhelming. “The Lone Ranger” stars Armie Hammer as the masked vigilante and Johnny Depp as his Indian sidekick, Tonto.
The film opens in 1933 at a traveling sideshow where Tonto appears as part of the attraction. He’s a bit older, of course. And, this kid dressed up as Woody in “Toy Story” asks Tonto if the legend of The Lone Ranger was true, or just a story. Tonto relates his adventures although his memory appears foggy at times. He’s got to be over 90, maybe a hundred.
Anyway, John Reid (Hammer) is a prosecuting attorney determined to bring peace and justice to Texas as the transcontinental railroad is linked. He doesn’t fare well after being deputized as a Texas Ranger by his brother so he can help bring an escaped killer to justice. His brother is killed, but Reid won’t see red. He still believes that everyone is entitled to a fair trial. Ho hum!
“The Lone Ranger” is the story of how Reid gets his mind changed on how to dispense the law. Tonto and Reid find a common interest, revenge. But, they initially don’t get along.
Depp brings his usual quirkiness to the role of Tonto. He’s often amusing. But, Hammer is plain vanilla as the masked lawman. He never quite makes the role truly his. And, his transformation to vigilante trods along without much real emotion.
On the down side, the film is way too long at two and a half hours. Way too violent for Disney. And, quite anachronistic. That’s a fancy word for stuff that ain’t supposed to be in the film’s time period. All movies suffer from this. But, you seem to take better notice when you’re bored. “The Lone Ranger” certainly won’t revive the western genre. Move along, little doggie. Grade: C