No matter what you thought of The Lone Ranger (2013) remake/reboot, you can’t deny that the intense end action scene with horse against iron horse chase with “William Tell” blaring in that theater sound system was incredible and edge-of-your-seat entertaining. Characters on horses jumping on and off trains was truly something to see. A lot of people give this movie a bad rap, and like most cases, it is usually due to minor things. Is the film a little longer than it needed to be? Sure. Were there a few violent scenes that went a little too far for Disney? Sure. But aside from these two issues, the film is a flat-out fun rollercoaster of a movie packed with action and tons of laughs.
This writer is a huge Western film fan, so whenever one comes out in some capacity in this current day and age, I am immediately drawn to what it could be. It seems like they were more of a rage back in the day. While slightly disappointed with Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens (2011), I really enjoyed this film, and it felt so good to see another horse-riding, gun-slinging cowboy movie on the big screen, providing a new generation with The Lone Ranger and Tonto characters.
Another complaint people have with this movie is that Johnny Depp is just basically playing a “Jack Sparrow” type character. I don’t even know what this means. Every performance by every actor is going to be at least somewhat similar since it’s the same person. Johnny Depp’s performance did not take me out of the movie, and in fact, I thought he sold me completely on the Native American character of Tonto. He could have easily stolen the film away from Armie Hammer, but their partnership far surpasses what was portrayed on screen. Hammer was also great in this film, as well as the female lead, Ruth Wilson, and Helena Bonham Carter in her fantastic, devilish supporting role. While it may not have been as much of a success as the Pirates of the Caribbean (2003-17) films (the first three of which were by the same director, Gore Verbinski, produced similarly by Ranger's Jerry Bruckheimer), it certainly feels like a big, lavish and epic action adventure, that certainly deserves a sequel in the franchise it was hoping to produce. The acting was top notch, the music rootin tootin’ spectacular, the location and set pieces masterful and transporting, the action intense and suspenseful, and the humor in just enough places to know it doesn’t take itself too seriously, all coming together in the aforementioned huge climax that wraps the movie up in a way that lives up to its promised adventure.
This is a great film that deserves a second chance and a second look; don’t listen to the naysayers. From the get go, people were determined to give it bad reviews, and that's unfortunately what stuck. Thankfully, however, director Gore Verbinski went on record to say that the film over time will garner more attention and enjoyment and get the better ratings it deserves. I believe that to be true also. It's a Western that ranks not too far below the swashbuckler Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) in my mind, and it’s a fun, entertaining ride of a popcorn summer movie. That’s all it was, and is, trying to be.