Hi-O Silver!

July. How did you come so fast? Just like that we've burned halfway through the summer....and pretty much entirely through all the GOOD summer blockbusters that I've looked forward to all year. Now marks the beginning of "the rest." The Lone Ranger personifies that and is the perfect movie to lead the way. Actually...scratch that. White House Down would actually have been the proper marker. But like White House Down, (though in a less preposterous fashion) Ranger is FAR too long and tries to do too much. And I'm afraid too many pieces are out of place which makes those problems all the worse. I don't think this is a bad movie, but not really a good one either. If I were to compare it to anything it would not be the first pairing of actor Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski: Pirates of the Caribbean Curse of the Black Pearl, but rather it's ugly little brother: Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest.

The Lone Ranger serves as the origin story of both the titular character John Reid (Armie Hammer), as well as his trusty companion Tonto (Johnny Depp). Their back stories are interesting enough but are unfortunately padded with some dreadful lulls in the storytelling. The pacing of this movie is not its friend. ESPECIALLY (and I can't say this enough...) with the horrible framing device used to tell the story. We begin in 1933 where a little boy visits a traveling carnival and sees an exhibit for the Native American....but finds that there's more story to be told than meets the eye (and also random side note: let it be said the makeup in these sequences is on the verge of disturbing.) Well, no harm is done though right? It's fine enough....until they show it 80 times when you just want to stay where the real story is. This aspect of the film, really pulled me out of it and took away greatly as no real purpose was served. That example underlies a great problem in general with the film: it meanders...and should be more to the point. If the storytelling was more concise...much of the movie's problems would be solved. But not all of them.

As much as I LOVE Armie Hammer (and do believe he did a good job in the role,) it is Depp, in one of his less memorable roles, that is tasked with the burden of carrying this film. I think this is again largely due to the script, but Depp kind of has the tendency to just take over, which is understandable. They have decent bro chemistry (hey better than Foxx/Tatum!) and I think did the best with what they were given...but it's not all that memorable. The comedic element in particular is lacking, and at times on the childish side (when will our culture outgrow poo jokes?) All in all, there was just something missing....and the supporting cast didn't really help out much either (besides Helena Bonham Carter in a way too small role.) I respect Ruth Wilson from her Jane Eyre days, but she made for rather a blah love interest saddled with an obligatory son to be put in constant danger. They basically added nothing but dead weight.

But after that rant... let me say the film is not without merit. Firstly the cinematography of the film is very beautiful and I enjoyed seeing the familiar scenery (the color grading was nice too.) Seriously, there are some beautiful shots here. And like I previously mentioned, I DID enjoy the performances of the leads...I only wish they had had a better script to work with. A script that was as focused as a few of the action sequences were. In fact, it's a shame the whole movie couldn't have been as frenetically paced (with that fantastic theme) and outright fun as that last action sequence....because THAT was masterfully done. I only wish it had come sooner before the film started dragging. I don't think this film overcomes its flaws, but I'm gonna be kind. It's certainly no Wild Wild West. EMILY RATING: 6/10


Sarah said...

Hmmmmmm. Interesting. I was unsure how this would turn out. It looks like my concerns, however, were in a different direction than what actually dragged this movie down. Thanks for the review!

Scottfunkel said...

Poo jokes and fart noises will always be funny. You might as well embrace it.

Emily said...

What were your concerns Sarah? And Scott!! If it weren't for your love of Arrested Development, I'd question your humor entirely!

Johanna said...

Well, sounds too violent for me. Probably so, right?

Emily said...

I would say it was actually one of the lesser violent of the blockbusters...but there were still a few moments where I covered my eyes.