Movie Review: The Lone Ranger

TheLoneRanger2013PosterAllow me to cut to the chase – something that this movie does NOT do – The Lone Ranger is a long, drawn out, poorly edited, wandering journey through the confused mind of Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski (both of the Pirates of the Carribbean franchise).

Save your money. It will be in the dollar theater (which is actually now $2) in about 4 weeks. Or wait for Redbox. Either way, save your coins on this one.

What didn’t I like about it? It’s 2 hours 40 minutes long on a story that really doesn’t capture you. The plot – which could have been solid enough – takes forever to unfold and the characters are never really developed to a point that you care about them. You never feel the tension between the two brothers, the girl, Tonto and his past. Of course, you realize that plot and character development was probably not on the top 10 list once the saber-toothed rabbits show up.

I promise I’m not making that part up.

Depp plays an Indian version of Captain Jack Sparrow without the edge. His biggest problem is that there is no one in the movie for him to play against as he had in Geoffrey Rush. Armie Hammer isn’t going to be carrying any movies in the future. The story underneath the gags and one-liners did not help him at all either.

Part of my disappointment was I wanted an edgier retelling of the story – ala True Grit – with a side of humor from the wonderfully odd Johnny Depp. The movie actually starts out this way and then it goes off the rails – pun intended. (How many different ways can you wreck a train?)

Instead, the humor and one-liners become the point. It felt like a westernized version of a Saturday Night Live movie – move from scene to scene to get all the skits, gags, and one-liners in. Some of it works. Not 2+ hours worth but there were some genuinely funny moments seemingly always followed by a ‘why the heck did they put that in the movie??’ scene.

My middle school daughter thought it was hilarious – the funniest movie ever – I think were her words. As we polled the youth group – I noticed that pretty much all middle schoolers loved the movie, older folks – mehhh.

It’s not a terrible movie. It’s just not a good one either. It is a safe one to take your 12/13 old to. The violence is mostly void of blood and guts. There isn’t any harsh language in it at all either. There are a couple of inside jokes that parents will get but will fly over the young ‘uns heads.

It’s just not worth the full price of admission.


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