EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: "The Lone Ranger." Want to be a film fan? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 out of 4 stars
"The Lone Ranger" gets more than one lone star, although I liked it a little less than I thought I might. I'm not sure I really enjoyed the context and the way the story was set up, but I did think Johnny Depp definitely owned his role as Tonto and added his unique comedic abilities. The action (especially at the end with the train scene and the famous overture in the background) was one of the highlights. I also thought Armie Hammer did a decent job as the Lone Ranger, the last remaining Texas Ranger seeking justice for the death of his brother. Ruth Wilson, as his love interest, Rebecca, also was strong in her role.
I thought the movie ran a little long and might have been more effective if it was a little shorter. It had some elements of the classic, original "Lone Ranger" show, but definitely is a newer improvised version with its own created additional details and personality.
All in all, not a bad way to spend a rainy Fourth of July holiday weekend evening.
-- Cindy Evans,
3 out of 4 stars
This is a remake of a yesteryear Western series as a movie for this generation. "The Lone Ranger" refers to the movie title character John Reid aka the Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer) as told by Tonto (Johnny Depp) the storyteller. Tonto, aided by the spirit horse Silver, resurrected John Reid. "Horse says you are spirit walker. A man who's been to the other side and returned. A man who cannot be killed in battle."
Later, Tonto is the one who tells John Reid to wear a mask. "People think you are dead. Better stay that way." This begins the wearing of the mask by John Reid, now the Lone Ranger. The persona of the Lone Ranger is created by Tonto. This is the start of the dynamic duo of the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Lone Ranger rides on his trusty, extraordinary steed Silver. "Hi yo, Silver, away!"
Rounding out the cast are the bad outlaw Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner), greedy railroad boss Latham Cole (Tom Wilkinson), damsel in distress Rebecca Reid and John Reid's sister-in-law (Ruth Wilson,) and a glorified cameo by Red Harrington (Helena Bonham Carter), a one-legged prostitute.
The movie is full of humor and wit delivered by the never-disappointing Depp -- very reminiscent of Jack Sparrow. The movie shows the transformations from lawman to vigilante/hero legend and the friendship between Lone Ranger, John Reid the lawyer, and Tonto, the Native American prisoner, two unfortunate allies.
This is a very enjoyable and entertaining movie.
-- Gail Nunez-Blackshear,
2 and 1/2 out of 4 stars
"The Lone Ranger" is very good summer entertainment, although at almost two and a half hours is a little long in the middle. Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the title character go above and beyond the limitations of the script, but the plot is predictable and the few scenes they are not in seem to be nothing more than filler.
The story, as told as a flashback by Tonto -- a totally unnecessary device -- is about how the younger brother of a Texas Ranger is supposedly killed as part of a posse while pursuing a bad guy. Tonto and a mysterious horse bring him back to life and they go after the killer. In the background of the main story is the building of the transcontinental railroad and the disenfranchising of the Indians from their homeland. Meanwhile, the duo get lost in the desert, are captured by Indians and harassed by the bad guys.
As a lifetime fan of the Lone Ranger, the playing of the Lone Ranger theme and him shouting his signature phase were nice additions. Very few times during the summer can you say that a live action movie is for the whole family, but this one is.
-- Mark Weinstein,