It’s hard to describe the Lone Ranger. You know how in the Superman movie, the first half is the origin, then he puts on the suit and he becomes Superman – brave, powerful, good. The Lone ranger is almost ALL origin. About two hours of it. He puts on the mask before the first hour is up, and he LOOKS like the Lone Ranger….but he hasn’t really become the Loner Ranger. Not yet. He’s still a tenderfoot, naïve and unsure. It’s not until he decides “If that’s the way the lawmen are (corrupt) I’d rather be an Outlaw.” and Tonto replies “That is why you wear the mask.” THAT’s when he really becomes the Lone Ranger and the last twenty minuets, everything makes sense and every thing ties together and he really is the character. The problem is, most people are going to this to see him BE the Lone Ranger, they aren’t coming to see two hours of him BECOMING the Loner Ranger. Some of the humor undermines the story as well, there are some really poignant moments – when Helena Bonham Carter tells them to get (revenge on) Cavendish for what he took from her and you see the painting on the wall behind her. It’s heartbreaking…then they have to throw a joke in there.
It’s not all bad. I really loved the framing device with Tonto telling the story. That was really well done. Cavendish is scary for the first time too. In the original series he’s just a general bad guy. Nothing special. In the comics he’s a brute masquerading as a refined gentleman. Christopher Lloyd portrayed him as a gentleman mad scientist type. none of that worked. This one is a thug with a slight tendency towards ritual cannibalism. He looks scary and acts scary and is the best version of Cavendish I’ve ever seen. The fact that he kills Native Americans also gives Tonto a great reason to hate him.
The makers of the film did their homework. All the touches are still there – the mask is made from his brother’s vest – the eyeholes where the bullets went through. His nephew is there, though younger. They have their own reasons for silver bullets. He still shoots their hands. It has a lot of good touches, but doesn’t seem good enough to make a sequel. we’ll see though. I said the same thing about Garfield.
All in all, it’s about half a good movie. and that’s a shame, because this could have been a good movie if they had just played it straight. Dial back the humor by about 25% and just give the story some respect. Honestly, with all that research, they should have realized they had a perfect template to go by – just use the comics Dynamite has been publishing for the last few years which are so much better. It’s a disappointment, though those last twenty minuets – I could watch that over and over again. Maybe I need to do a fan edit and chop this sucker up a bit.
After some more Violent Blue.