The Lone Ranger was critically panned when it came out. To be honest, it’s not difficult to see why, and yet it’s not as bad as all that.
What’s to like: well, Armie Hammer is actually quite appealing as the clueless, overly-moralistic John Reid, pushed into becoming the titular character over the course of the movie.
Urm, and that’s probably about it! It’s interesting that this is the first time any version of TLR has credited Tonto (Johnny Depp) above the eponymous hero, but the character is… odd. And not good odd, just odd. I also really really hated the framing story technique, which sees a very elderly Tonto tell his story. I suppose it could have added some kind of justification for an over the top story coming from an unreliable narrator, but it really didn’t.
The story is, perhaps, just a little too dull. Certainly it drags in a big way in the middle, which is only shown up more when the famous William Tell Overture theme kicks in for an extended action sequence which, really, is the only time the film feels alive. Stuff happens after that point, to tie up the story, but heck – I can barely remember it already.
Overall, I’d suggest this falls foul of exactly the same hubris as Disney’s epic from the previous year, John Carter (2012), of just thinking itself so huge and sweeping – and from such famous source material – that it couldn’t possibly fail. Alas, it instead proves that big budgets and pedigree are not the only things necessary for a good story.
Released: 9th August 2013
Watched: 5th September 2015 (Netflix)
Running time: 149 minutes
My rating: 5/10