Before we go through The Pros & Cons of this review, let’s go back on how The Lone Ranger was first conceived from the beginning, shall we? In 1933, radio station “WXYT,” broadcasted a program called, The Lone Ranger, the show is about a Texas Ranger named Reid, who gets shot along with his brother from a gang of criminals led by Butch Cavendish. An Indian named Tonto rescues him and tends his wound. Reid decided to conceal his true identity as well as honoring his slain brother by wearing a mask made from his vest. The duo travel to avenge Reid’s brother and protect innocent lives. Thus, The Lone Ranger was born.
The program became an immediate success from many families. It aired from 1933 to 1956. The radio series spawned a franchise that made Reid & Tonto icons, consisting of comic books, cartoons, costumes, action figures & a television show that used to air on ABC from 1949 to 1957. A spiritual successor called “The Green Hornet” was inspired by The Lone Ranger. Dan Reid/The Green Hornet is the nephew of Reid.
In 2002, Sony Pictures, confirmed that they were planning on making a film adaptation of The Lone Ranger due to the unexpected positive & box office success of The Mask of Zorro, for introducing a new generation of fans. Three Years Later, Sony struggles with financial problems until production company, Entertainment Rights, bought the film rights. However, Entertainment Rights went out of business in 2009. Until studio heavyweight, Disney took the rights to make the picture by teaming up with the crew from Pirates of The Caribbean films such as big shot producer, Jerry Bruckheimer & screenwriting duo, Terry Rossio & Ted Elliot, film director, Gore Verbinski, Johnny Depp as Tonto, & hiring Armie Hammer (The Social Network, Call Me by Your Name) as the titular character.
A three-year gap of development began in 2011. It became pretty hectic involving budgetary concerns, The Cast’s salaries, (especially Johnny Depp’s) several crew members suffered from chicken pox, deadly wildfires, & worst of all, a crew member died while working inside a water tank. So, this is considered Bruckheimer’s Apocalypse Now, because The Cast & Crew suffered from a bunch of problems at the time, they were making this movie. The film’s budget earned a whopping total of $225-$250 million & marketing costs were $150 million. Combined both budgets together, you get $375-$400 million, making this one of the most expensive movies of all time. Pirates Of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, is currently the most expansive film ever made. After finishing the film, Disney distributed it worldwide to the general public.
The Lone Ranger opened worldwide in 2013. Upon release, it earned negative reactions from critics. Plus, it failed to break even on its expensive budget grossing only $260 million at the box office. The film generated controversy involving the casting of Johnny Depp as Tonto. My real thoughts about this issue, isn’t a big deal at all. As a quarter Indian myself, I didn’t get offended, I couldn’t find anything wrong with Johnny’s depiction as Tonto. Now that Disney’s latest film, A Wrinkle in Time is out. I’m gonna assume that this film will fail to earn $400 million dollars if they don’t breakeven.
The following review contains massive SPOILERS. If you’ve never got a chance to watch the entire thing, read at your own risk.
Gold & Bronze Qualities
Gold: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson & Helena Bonham Carter all did a great job on their respective performances.
Action Sequences were outstanding such as The Train Scenes from The First & Third Act.
The film takes place in Colby, Texas. I’m giving this pro an Extra Point, because I’m a Texan myself. I gotta love movies taking place in Texas.
Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Pirates of the Caribbean, Inception) orchestrated instrumental musical tracks inspired by Ennio Morricone. Hans also paid tribute to Once Upon a Time in The West, by writing “Parlay,” from Pirates of The Caribbean: At World’s End.
Lone Ranger’s theme song, “William Tell Overture,” is used during The Climatic Train Scene. If you’re gonna adapt Lone Ranger, you need his theme song.
Special Effects are combination of Practical and C.GI to bring complex ingredients to life.
Cinematography is pretty normal, capturing beautiful outdoor environments on a grand scale.
We get to learn about Tonto’s personal backstory and motivation on why he has a vendetta against Cavendish.
Tonto uses his catchphrase, “Ke-Mo Sah-Be.” In The Comanche Language, it means “Wrong Brother.”
Near the end of the film, Reid said “Hi-Ho Silver, away!”
Bronze: The film begins in 1933, with an exterior shot of The Golden Gate Bridge. However, it was never fully completed till’ 1937.
Tonto never stated on how he managed to escape his jell cell offscreen. Tonto continues his story without explaining why he broke out of jail.
Silver takes a dump before an unconscious Reid touches its filth. Dagnabbit! I have to Double Down points! That scene doesn’t belong in a Jerry Bruckheimer production, it belongs in a Happy Madison film!
Reid’s love interest is Rebecca, who’s his sister-in-law. I find their “romance” kinda messed up. First of all, his brother got killed by Cavendish. Second, they have a lack of chemistry together. Worst of all, they kissed each other on the lips! That’s it, I’m gonna Triple Down this flaw, because it’s so disgusting and repulsive at the same time! Can you imagine his brother rolling in his grave! Nobody kisses their dead brother or sister’s spouse on the lips in real life!
There’s no proper explanation on why Silver the Horse is often teleporting offscreen in random moments. Tonto himself, points out there’s something really wrong with it. When did Silver acquired the ability to teleport like Nightcrawler off of X-Men?
During a shootout with three bandits, Lone Ranger can’t shoot his opponents at night. Nobody’s makes a stupid statement in real life.
The Final Verdict: C, FOR CONVOLUTED!
I think The Lone Ranger is divisive flop as a love it or hate it picture. For me I have mixed feelings about the negative stuff I’ve listed that me cringe, but at the same time, the good stuff was kinda enjoyable. Quentin Tarantino (a lifelong fan of Westerns) claimed that The Lone Ranger is one of his favorite films of 2013, he even admits that it has flaws and he called it one of his guilty pleasures.
If you want to watch a decent Western, I highly recommend a few including 3:10 To Yuma, (remake) True Grit, (both original & remake) The Dollars Trilogy & HBO’s Westworld Season 1 to keep you busy before Season 2 airs.