Commentary
5:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Movie Review: The Lone Ranger

Credit rottentomatoes.com

The Lone Ranger is first-rate for comedy in the beginning, action at the end, and a totally new interpretation of Tonto by Johnny Depp.

It falls short because its main plot seems intended to be separate revenge stories of the Lone Ranger's and Tonto's, but in the end turns into a railroad story; the interpretation of the Lone Ranger is lame; and it is inconsistent in tone and even topic.

It starts out comic and satirical, but soon becomes too serious in its Sergio Leone sets and costumes and props and villains. Censors seem to have chickened out on a man being dragged face down through a pile of horse droppings, but they left the horse droppings in, which produces a peculiar effect.

But be patient and the ending section will send you through a journey by railroad beggaring anything but possibly the end of How The West Was Won, and I've been assured that neither the trains nor the tracks are as impossible as you'll think-- though credibility is not much of a concern.

Unfortunately, even such excitement can go on too long, and it does. As does the movie itself, partly because there are too many plot tines to sew up and too many villains to polish off.

But the big attraction is Johnny Depp's genuinely weird interpretation of loyal companion Tonto. It amounts to a double role, played almost straight: partly mystic horse whisperer and partly con man (maybe), and in all ways a sharp contrast to a pirate of the Caribbean. And, as almost always, Depp is fascinating to watch.

It's better in parts than as a whole, but The Lone Ranger is summer popcorn worth your time and money.