The Lone Ranger (2013)

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This long-awaited action adventure was jokingly called the fifth sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean, for the simple reason that almost the entire team that participated in creating the franchise about pirate Jack Sparrow (director, screenwriter, producer, lead actor) signed this project. The original idea promised more than decent fun, but a combination of numerous factors made the final product quite stretched, unconvincing and with an impression that will either be bad or will seem to be quickly forgotten.

In 1930, an old man named Tonto (Johnny Depp) tells the story of Armie Hammer, a lone ranger. He is a just lawyer who leads his ideals and does his best to arrest the infamous Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner). After the ambush, he is left to die, but is rescued by an apostate from the Comanche tribe, Tonto, with his mysterious white horse. Tonto promises him his help in finding Cavendish. John Reed becomes a masked avenger with the wholehearted help of his sympathetic, but ultimately irresponsible and unrestrained partner. In time, the two of them realize that Cavendish is part of a much greater injustice that is being done to the inhabitants of that part of the country, and they decide to go into all that to the end, and that move will make them either colonels or deceased.

The script is loosely based on the story of a black Texas ranger who, due to circumstances, managed to survive the American Civil War, even though he lived in the south, so in time he reached the position of sheriff. During the last century, that story changed more and more, so the black ranger, among other things, became the commander of the southerners dressed in white who took revenge on the bandits. The Disney production company obviously didn’t know how to screen this hero specifically, so the script turned out to be a not-so-great and coherent combination of spaghetti westerns and parodies of western movies.

However, this is not the end of the changes, because the character of the Lone Ranger has been pushed aside so that Johnny Depp can attract the most attention. I got the impression that the script was written so that Tonto would be the main character, and not the other way around. The famous Lone Ranger thus becomes an assistant to the unadapted Indian. Tonto, on the other hand, is Jack Sparrow dressed in an Indian suit. The other characters are quite one-dimensional and clichéd. I think that the story would have left a much better impression if it had been done as a serious drama instead of a comic adventure. The deeper story of crimes against Indians on the one hand and the comedies of the characters on the other are somehow out of balance.

Visually, the film looks great, although it was done a lot with CGI, so the Oscar nomination in this category arrived. The direction is not too complicated with the scenes, so it is quite simple. The highlights of the film are details in terms of makeup, hairstyles and costumes, which has received a lot of attention. As for music, there are criticisms that the famous Hans Zimmer also delayed his work. Everything would be better packaged if the film was shorter by at least 40 minutes, because 149 minutes is really too much for this type of film.

I really appreciate Johnny Depp, but it is impossible to get rid of the impression that he is acting in films that are far from his qualities. Lately, he has not been raising the level of his acting, but the level of performing and fooling around, so his natural charisma is declining. The impression is that he did his job here with half his strength and that he played the pirate Jack, and not the new character of the Indian Tont. The other characters obviously rely on numerous clichés and stereotypes, and none of the actors stood out too much by playing them.

The Lone Ranger is not a bad movie in general, but it is below expectations. Fans of Pirates of the Caribbean will enjoy it, while I recommend others to give it a chance if they are willing to completely brainwash and have fun.