I’m going to offer up a very controversial opinion here: I don’t think this film is quite as bad as people say it is. I actually think it’s a little underrated. Granted, it’s still not great and there’s a lot of problems with it, but I think it’s fairly enjoyable.
Now, the plot. Well… There’s Johnny Depp’s Tonto, a Comanche who narrates the story to a young child when he is an old man himself. In this story he tells is Armie Hammer as John Reid, a lawyer who becomes the Lone Ranger, a masked vigilante out to get revenge against the people who killed his brother. Meanwhile there’s railroad deals, mass Native American killings and some shady businessmen. Look, the plot is a long and convoluted mess when it comes down to it. So try not to think about it too much. Okay?
Let’s start off with all the bad stuff so that when I end with the good things you might kind of agree with me. Johnny Depp does his stupid Captain Jack Sparrow performance only this time more racist. Helena Bonham Carter is boring and forced in for very little reason. The film is way too long. Some of the acting and set pieces aren’t the greatest and there’s a lot of added fluff that could easily be taken out. The story is a bit too complex for what it should be and a little confusing at times. The payoff at the end is decent enough, but overall everything just should be better.
But there’s fun stuff too! Armie Hammer is actually quite good as the Ranger. He’s fun and energetic, I like him. He may not be able to carry the film solely on his shoulders, but he does a pretty good job of running alongside it as it jumps from setpiece to setpiece. The special effects are mostly good I would say. I mean, really there’s probably too many for a film of this sort but when they do happen they’re fairly solid. The rest of the cast are decent. William Fichtner and Tom Wilkinson are good as sadistic bad guys, and seeing them get their comeuppance is pretty satisfying. The action scenes are big and fun, especially the train climax at the end of the film. It’s like a real rollercoaster ride. It’s actually pretty thrilling! Director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer do a good job of bringing that fun ‘Pirates of the Caribbean‘ style adventure to this film (well, the first one anyway!). Plus it is all scored by Hans Zimmer’s fun and sometimes epic soundtrack.
Look, the reason this film is considered such a failure I think is because it cost so much money to make and made barely any back. I get that. I even get why it didn’t. But I think it is still quite a fun film. yes it may be long and too complex, but it’s a fun adventure. It may not stand up to the westerns of old or the fun adventures of Indiana Jones, but I think it is a fun film for what it is. There. I said it.
JACK’S SCORE: 3/5