The Lone Ranger
Director: Gore Verbinski
Writer: Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio
Based on: the radio show
Cast: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, Helena Bonham Carter, James Badge Dale, James Frain
John Reid (Armie Hammer) is a lawyer by vocation. He believes in everything the law stands for. In his capacity as prosecutor, he’s accompanying the infamous murderer, cannibal and generally awful human being Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner) who was finally apprehended and is supposed to be hung in John’s hometown. Also on the transport is Tonto (Johnny Depp), a Comanche accused of nobody knows exactly what. When Cavendish manages to escape, it leads to the unlikely and very reluctant team-up of Tonto and John, who becomes The Lone Ranger.
Before going into the film, I only heard awful things about it. Starting with the casting of Johnny Depp as a Native American to the general dumbness of it. So my expectations weren’t high, but I was willing to give the film a try because I like Verbinski’s other stuff. But it turns out that all the terrible things were true.
The movie already starts with a framing device they better should have done without: a young boy at a carneval goes into a Wild Wild West tent, where – next to a stuffed buffalo – there’s also a seemingly stuffed Native American. He turns out to be incredibly old Tonto who tells the boy the story. And then it’s kinda implied that he can leave the exhibit and that he’s there of his own free will and I was just like, WHY THE FUCK? I mean, if the movie had taken a second to reflect on this situation and to show that maybe things had gotten so bad for him, despite his heroics, that this was the only way to make some money, I would have accepted it. But instead he seems to be doing it just so he can tell young white boys about the white hero he used to know. Ugh.
But then again that would have only happened if anybody had actually thought about the film they were making. And then somebody would have probably not only noticed the racism, but also the sexism (btw, you have Ruth Wilson and all you let her do is be a damsel in distress? I cry) and the general dumbness of everything.
I might have been more forgiving of all of that if the film had actually entertained. But it didn’t. It was so boring, I fell asleep for a little bit. Not even Johnny Depp, who usually makes me laugh at least a little bit, was actually funny. At all.
At least there was William Fichtner, who is always a joy to watch. James Badge Dale was pretty great, too. Too bad he didn’t get to do much. (Ruth Wilson, sigh.) Armie Hammer wasn’t a bad choice for the role, either. But they all lose against the script. And they lose hard.
Summarizing: I’d rather watch Rango again.