Movies / Reviews / Western

MOVIE REVIEW: Disney’s The Lone Ranger Gives This Outlaw Something New to Geek Out On

Lone Ranger Featured 2 - FINAL RESIZED

Oh the things I do for this blog.
(Professional Photoshop work is not one of them.)


“Hi-Yo Outlaw, away!”


Ok, ok, I agree it’s one of the cheesiest and most obvious ways to start out a review of Disney’s new reboot of The Lone Ranger.  However, if you ever come across someone cheesier and more obvious than yours truly, I suggest you head in the opposite direction… at a pace close to that of a roadrunner on methamphetamine.


Fittingly enough, the film delivered its own level of goofball antics that provided for some fun scenes, and to a certain extent, some incredibly strange moments.


_The_Lone_Ranger__Silver Tonto

Not sure how wise that is… who knows where his mouth has been!
(The horse’s mouth might need some cleaning, too.)


For those unfamiliar with the masked man, The Lone Ranger is a fictional character from the 1930’s that was created as a western outlaw of sorts.  As a member of the Texas Rangers with his brother Daniel, John Reid ends up becoming the only survivor of an ambush orchestrated by arch nemesis “Butch” Cavendish.  Seeing as the attack wiped out the entire Ranger outfit, Reid becomes the lone, well, you get the idea.  Tonto, whom helps heal Reid back to life, becomes the Ranger’s sidekick and friend.



If this movie ends my career, feel free to put me out of my misery.


The 2013 reboot follows this basic formula along with throwing in enough twisting plot elements to keep one guessing what in the hell is going on for the better part of what seemed like a full revolution around the sun.  That regrettably leads me to my major gripe with the movie, I think I may have missed a week’s worth of current events while I was in the theater due in part to the long run-time.


Truth be told, a few extended trailers would have sufficed.


Granted, I’ve sat through some longer flicks during my lifetime, the difference here being it felt like this one could have been cut in half and covered all the appropriate bases to the same effect.  Nonetheless, director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) loves his Disney-Depp conglomerations long and drawn out.


I can see the argument that one should get the most for their money these days; however, when you are talking about gluing your rear end to a chair meant for someone naturally shaped like the letter L for about an eighth of a day, more is definitely less.   Outside of that, and the inclusion of the Monty Python bunnies (you’ll just have to see it to understand), I actually didn’t have much to complain about… for once.


The Cast

Dashing hero, Johnny Depp, ugly villain, busty women and did I mention Johnny Depp?


My advice though when it comes to movies, keep it lean and save the extra minutes for home video when I’m comfortably sprawled naked on my bear skin rug.  Before you get to excited, I’m joking of course as it’s actually a faux bear skin rug and not the real thing.


In spite of its pudgy mid-section, Disney’s take on the American icon has more than a few good things going for it.  One of those just happens to be Johnny Depp, who has quickly become the king of quirky quick-witted onscreen personas.  Take away the crow and face paint, and the faint look and expressions of Jack Sparrow seem to sneak through, but this is far from the drunken pirate we all grew to love, and then get tired of after three unnecessary sequels to Disney’s theme ride.  Due to the Indian heritage of the character, Depp’s dialogue is kept short, in turn giving more meaning to his facial reactions.


LoneRanger and Tonto Full

Tonto say you smell like baking powder.


Before seeing this movie, if you would have asked me who Armie Hammer was, I would have told you he’s the guy that makes the boxes of baking soda that sit in the back of everyone’s fridge for two decades at a time.  Per his IMDB page, this looks to be his first breakout lead role in cinema, in addition to some voice over work with The Simpsons and color me surprised in that he delivered a fine performance of the bumbling lawyer turned outlaw.


The-Lone-Ranger and Tonto


Speaking of that very familiar word, I have to be honest that my overall satisfaction with this flick did arise from the fact that the entire concept behind The Lone Ranger is that John Reid is a by the book law-man turned outlaw during the Wild West era.  If there was anything more up my alley than that, a visit to the proctologist might be in order.


Lone Ranger Featured 1

Can’t you just hear the theme song playing in my mind?
(Please tell me you hear the voices too… please!?)


Another positive component worth mentioning was Reid’s eventual transportation, a stunning white horse he later named Silver.  The four-legged hay-eating and poop-dropping actor provided some humorous moments, and how can anyone not love a horse with an attitude?



“My other horse is a Mustang.”


The icing on the cake for me, however, was the film’s orchestral soundtrack.  Those who loyally read my thoughts on film – yes, I’m looking at all three of you – know by now that a great score can make or break a movie for me, and The Lone Ranger was nothing short of greatness from beginning to end.  Thus, I wasn’t surprised to see Hans Zimmer’s now Hollywood household name flash across the screen during the end credits.  Most notably, he brilliantly implemented the iconic Lone Ranger theme (aka the William Tell Overture) at the beginning, but especially at the end without overplaying it.


For your listening enjoyment.


I can’t say that I’ve seen much of the original TV series featuring Clayton Moore, but hearing the classic tune during the grand finale literally sent shivers down my spine and covered my arms with goose bumps like I was a seven year-old watching my favorite hero for the first time. (Note to the Outlaw readers: my maturity level still hovers around the seven-year range.)  Per the perspective of Tonto narrating the story to a youngin’, the movie was definitely made to try and capture the kid in us all (with mixed success).  Needless to say, it was worth the extra padding in the middle just to sit through the last few minutes.



New Old West vs the Old Old West.
(Dare you to say that 10 times fast.)


Surprisingly enough, I found The Lone Ranger to have enough humor, heart, action, and musical prowess to be an above average summer blockbuster.  More importantly, it was a fun western that didn’t take itself too seriously, unlike the very few of the genre that do happen to get made every now and again.  With a plethora of cowboys, outlaws, Indians, horses, gun fights, busty females with shotguns for legs, and damsels in distress hanging from moving trains, The Lone Ranger managed to capture all the cliched things that made westerns classic, and it did so with style.


Red Harrington

“Wizards? Well whatever do you mean?”


To that, all I have to say is, “Hi-Yo Outlaw, away!”


(Alright, fine… I promise not to write that anymore… until maybe Halloween.)


4 Spurs



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