Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Lone Ranger: DVD Review

The Lone Ranger: DVD Review

Rating: M
Released by Disney

Johnny Depp plays Tonto, an American Indian spirit warrior, who's our guide in more ways than one in this journey as he recounts, from a travelling circus, how the Lone Ranger was born from the death of John Reid (Armie Hammer) and transformed into a masked vigilante of justice and a symbol of hope. Reid is trying to avenge the death of his brother (played by James Badge Dale) at the hands of William Fichtner's bad guy Butch Cavendish, and finds himself out of his depth and in the middle of a conspiracy helmed by Tom Wilkinson's Latham Cole, who's out to take over the whole idea of the railroad, which is just being brought in.

The Lone Ranger 2013 is a little bit too much of a sprawling film with too much of a muddled messy plot to feel focused as it limps to the end of its line, after nearly two and a half hours.

Starting with Depp under layers of latex in 1930s San Francisco, it takes a while for the story to kick in as it flashes back to 1869 Texas. But Depp's Tonto is a wonderful creation, mixing mawkish sadness and channeling silent comics from yesteryear under cracked white face paint and a crow upon his head. In fact, Depp's relatively dry and dour delivery provides a lot of unexpected laughs early on and works as a wonderful foil to Hammer's drippy and wet behind the ears do-gooder, law-abiding DA, John Reid. In fact, Hammer hardly brings the Lone Ranger to life at all and pales in comparison and charisma to Depp's Tonto. The sequence which introduces Silver, the spirit walker horse, really strives to bring the legend of the Lone Ranger to life and cause the relationship between the duo to soar above much of the rest of a muddled and average plot. Jokes about the true meaning of Kimosabesit alongside some truly dark imagery (such as the slaughter of native Americans by the army and villagers cut down by the greed of some) and are an uneasy fit in the overall feel ofThe Lone Ranger movie. Helena Bonham-Carter's appearance in the film amounts to nothing more than a cameo and a nod to one of Rose McGowan's Tarantino roles and Wilkinson appears to be a little lost among some misplaced altruism before bringing the twirling moustache baddie to the fore. 

A final set piece sequence on board two trains (and complete with theWilliam Tell Overture) provides more thrills, spills, action and laughs than anything which has gone before as Verbinksi finally unleashes a spectacle which is astoundingly good - but it's a little too late in the piece as over 2 hours of confused and chaotic story telling have unfolded with nary a nod of interest. An expeditious edit of around 40 minutes could have helped this bloated piece achieve some kind of focussed story-telling.

While the comic beats and relationship between Reid and Tonto bring a lot to the screen (even if Reid is blown away by the at times surreal antics of Tonto / Depp's colourful performance), the rest is a little wanting - and leaves the 2013 version of The Lone Ranger somewhat lost.

Extras: Bloopers, deleted scenes


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