It’s a familiar team creating a familiar scenario: Johnny Depp playing a strange character, the director who made one of the most important franchises of our age, the same producer and also the same screenwriters…
From the team that brought you Pirates of the Caribbean, here comes another attempt to start a new franchise with old ideas: a strange co-protagonist, a glorious and loyal hero, a girl in danger and two individual villains. The Lone Ranger repeats the successful formula of the Caribbean Trilogy and tries to entertain people for more than two hours, but the team doesn’t understand people want to see something new, and there’s nothing new about this project.
Armie Hammer plays John Reid, a man of the law who will discover that sometimes the law is not always championed by lawful people, but rather it is necessary to became an outlaw to create justice in a corrupt world. With the help of the strange Native American Tonto (played by Johnny Depp), John Reid will change himself into the Lone Ranger, a bandit that rights wrongs and represents equality and justice for everyone.
The hero’s origins are often always interesting, but in this case not every part of the film is worth examining. The worst style aspect is the choice of using flashback narration, a clear reference of Arthur Penn’s Little Big Man, which becomes boring with each return to the present time, often breaking the hype of interesting and thrilling sequences so wonderfully directed by Gore Verbinski. The screenplay by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, and Justin Haythe, is disappointing, staking everything on a plot that is no more than a draft of the first Pirates of the Caribbean. Not all characters are interesting and there are actors who are not used to the best of their abilities (such as the cameo of Helena Bonham-Carter). This plot tells an unoriginal story with a boring narrative style because of the continuous jumps from past to the present. Not surprisingly it is also full of cliché characters such as ugly villains and handsome heroes, innocent damsels, and bizarre yet entertaining side kicks. The direction is full of rhythm and helped by a very frenzied editing style by James Haygood and Craig Wood, which make the movie more exciting. However, it is all ‘seen before’ and fails to offer anything new for the audience, despite the excellent cinematography by Bojan Bazelli.
Even Hans Zimmer fails to bring originality, simply repeating similar themes made in previous movies such as Rango. The most interesting compositions consist of revisiting the William Tell opera of Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini, as well as themes from the original tv series which inspired the film. But these also became boring when drawn on for too much time.
There’s nothing more to say about this new Verbinski movie. The director tries to do a sort of live action of his animated western Rango, but the producer Jerry Bruckheimer prefers to try again for the success found in Pirates of the Caribbean, working with the same screenwriter and repeating a story so linear and unoriginal. The result is a decent action fantasy with lots of references to the most important western movies and a tribute to the tv series of the same name. However, The Lone Ranger is a movie that does not offer something new to the audience, which will have to settle only for enjoying another quirky performance of Johnny Depp and the adrenaline packed direction of Gore Verbinski.
The Lone Ranger is a slightly entertaining summer blockbuster, but that’s all.