Film Review: The Lone Ranger


Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger is sabotaged by its length. It ticks the boxes of action and adventure, but at a cost.

Native American Warrior Tonto tells the story of how John Reid became the Lone Ranger. An idealistic lawyer, John’s fortune changes when he accompanies his Texas Ranger brother in pursuit of an outlaw…

Had thirty minutes been trimmed, The Lone Ranger would have been a much better film. The false endings add to the film’s duration and hinder the actual climax, which lacks the sense of danger and momentum it should have had.

The Lone Ranger‘s narrative has its issues. The incessant need to link all the elements does not work to the film’s advantage. Although the film functions as an origins story for the title character, this does not meant that it should also act as one for other characters.

The screenwriters attempt to add a historical aspect to the story. This works reasonably well, giving the audience a flavour of the time in which the film is set. Nonetheless, some of the messages that the film conveys are laid on thick.

Verbinski’s film combines a number of genres. Whilst the action is well executed, the romance strand adds little to character depth or plot  and should have been omitted. Some of the humour works, other jokes fall flat.

With the pairing of John Reid and Tonto, the film tries to develop a more antagonistic relationship. This is fine, although some of the back and forth could have been removed. The character of Tonto in this incarnation is not as interesting as the writers and Johnny Depp think he is.

Armie Hammer does well in the action hero role. Helena Bonham Carter delivers a good performance in a slight role, despite her high billing. Johnny Depp seems to now think that an unusual accent, strange costume and some odd facial expressions constitutes acting.

It is difficult to see the audience for The Lone Ranger. It is too sanitised for western fans, and paradoxically too violent for young children.