For years the Lone Ranger has been a main stay in popular culture even when the western slowly seemed to phase off the radar. Beyond the radio dramas and popular TV series there was little else for fans to enjoy until the dismal 1981s The Legend of The Lone Ranger that did so bad that it seemed he would never ride onto the big screen again, until now. When the announcement came of Disney’s The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp attached the speculation started flying on how it would work, but now the time has some and the Lone Ranger is riding again, but can he stay on the horse?
The Lone Ranger follows Tonto, an American Indian spirit warrior, as he recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice and how these two unlikely heroes learned to work together and fight against greed and corruption. First it needs to be clear that this is more of a reimagining of the Lone Ranger mythology and seemingly tries to tell the story more from Tonto’s point of view. There are a lot of things here that are both good and bad depending on what you expect from this movie. The hardcore Lone Ranger fans will be the first to rip it apart likely not liking the changes or the more light hearted sometimes comedic approach to the film. This is pretty much Pirates of the Caribbean in the west, which isn’t always a bad thing, but not quite the Lone Ranger movie everyone has been waiting for. With that being said, the movie is still a lot of fun on a lot of levels. The first half of the film tells the legend of the Ranger with some alterations here and there on both characters and is pretty interesting. There is a point in the middle where the film slows down a bit as you eagerly await that moment to finally get the Ranger in action. The cast do a fine job with Hammer carrying the Lone Ranger decent enough, but never really gets to deliver that hardcore hero aspect until the end. Depp is clearly channeling his Jack Sparrow a bit for this more crazed version of Tonto, but does a decent job carrying the movie. The real treat of them all comes with the always awesome William Fitchner’s villain who is just the ultimate western badass and great to watch. The film sports tons of over the top action that isn’t always all that believable but is well executed and a lot of fun.
There is an entire aspect of the film that could have been ditched involving Tonto telling the legend to a small boy that is meant to move the film along, but is the weakest aspect of the whole film. They could have taken that out and still delivered the exact same film. While this isn’t the Lone Ranger fans have been wanting, it is one that is clearly meant to try and please everyone and get some interest in the western genre, because let’s be honest they aren’t tearing up the box office these days. Whatever your thoughts all will be forgotten when the William Tell Overture kicks on and the Lone Ranger rides taking those old school fans back to their childhood making it all worth it. It’s far from perfect but still some fun and it could always be worse, anyone remember Wild, Wild, West?
In addition to the movie, this Blu-ray includes numerous special features including bloopers, deleted scenes, and featurettes including Riding the Rails of The Lone Ranger, Armie’s Western Road Trip, and Becoming A Cowboy. Discover the legend for yourself when The Lone Ranger hits Blu-ray and DVD on December 17th.