By Eddie Burton (New Jersey)
I don’t understand why this film is getting such bad press. Critical reception has been mostly negative and I really don’t know why. Seeing as how Fast and Furious 6 has gotten for the most part good reception from critics, I thought critics would be much warmer to the movie. Now this film isn’t perfect by any means. But I’ll first talk about the movie. The Lone Ranger stars unknown Armie Hammer as John, aka Lone Ranger, and global star Johnny Depp as the infamous Indian Tonto. It follows their adventure to bring John’s brother’s killer Butch, played by William Fichtner, to justice.
The problem with the film is that it gets mixed up with all the other sub plots they’ve created and it becomes a cluttered mess. You have the tensioned relationship between John and his brother Dan. You have Tonto’s story of him being responsible for the death of his village and becoming an outcast from his tribe. You have the love relationship between John and Rebecca, who was Dan’s wife. The revenge story with Butch and John. There’s simply too much going on and not a leveled balance. Also there is a big problem with the development to their characters.
When they start this film, it seems as if it’s a sequel to a previous film. They write the characters as if you already know who they are. Maybe that’s because they’re basing it off the show that was made half a century ago but I didn’t see it so I was completely confused for a good half hour of the film. Lone Ranger fell into the same problem Dark Shadows ran into. It tried to put all the story arcs from the show into one film and it just didn’t work. You come to terms with what is going on and put the pieces together with the characters. Therefore it isn’t as confusing, but the problem is still there and worth mentioning.
The writing does get lazy. It writes certain situations that are completely off the wall and aren’t explained. For example, in a scene John wakes up from being knocked out and ends up on a mountain that looks like a cone you see on a highway except it’s a lot taller and is on the edge of it. How does he get to the ground and meet up with Tonto? Never explained, it just cuts to the next scene. There are many scenes that end the same way. At least in Fast and Furious 6 they create an explanation for what happened in some scenes, despite how ludicrous it might be. What they did is just lazy. There are many, many jumping the shark moments and it deserves the award for the most plot holes in a film however.
The performances are strong. Johnny Depp surprisingly didn’t bring the Jack Sparrow style of acting to Tonto like I expected. He has fallen in love with the style he made famous but this film he played the character right. I can compare Johnny Depp’s performance as Tonto to Robert Downey Jr. performance as Sherlock Holmes. While Robert Downey Jr. was good in the role, I still saw Robert Downey Jr. only with a British accent. Same with Johnny Depp. I saw Johnny Depp as Johnny Depp except with an Indian accent. That’s not to say he was bad, it’s just I still saw Johnny Depp. Armie Hammer was a good Lone Ranger and the chemistry between Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer worked surprisingly well. I think Hammer held himself well in the film.
Helena Bonham Carter is one of the best actors working today. She brings so much energy to the characters she plays and adds a lot of depth and interest into them. Despite how much screen time she gets. I’m also very happy William Fichtner is getting into more notable films with more important names and given bigger roles. He completely steals the show in the movie. Outshining all of his fellow actors and that includes Johnny Depp. He plays Butch so well and adds so much to the character. I pray now that he gets much more attention from other directors. I’m also very happy he will be playing shredder in the new TMNT film. Seeing what he brought to Butch, a character hardly developed, I wonder what he will bring to Shredder, a character that’s very complex. It’s also a fun adventure.
Its fun watching Tonto and John interact with one another and its fun watching each actor on screen. The atmosphere is fun to see and the humor is for the most part strong and hits its mark. But when it doesn’t catch on, you hear a pin drop and it turns really awkward. But for the most part the humor works. So while it’s not the best movie Disney or Johnny Depp have made, and while it may not be worth seeing in theaters, it’s still a movie worth checking out. But don’t get your hopes to high.
The film is cluttered, has a murky plot, has more plot holes then The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel combined and confusing in terms of character in the beginning of the film. It’s still a fun ride with strong performances and fun action scenes. While they may be stupid, I’ve seen Fast five and six so nothing can hold a candle to those films in term of ludicrous action scenes. It’s still a fun ride and a fun adventure.
Thumbs barely up with a 6/10 stars.