Thursday, July 18, 2013

Movie Review - The Lone Ranger

I went into this movie thinking I would hate it. The trailers had turned me off completely. So why did I go? Because my wife wanted to see it. Way back in 1981 we went to see "The Legend of the Lone Ranger" at my wife's insistence. I didn't think I would like that movie either and I didn't. But she did. I don't know what it is with my wife and The Lone Ranger but I'm gonna start wearing a mask and a white hat.

Anyway, I thought I'd hate it but I didn't. In fact I actually liked it. My biggest issue going in was Johnny Depp. He looked so ridiculous in the trailers.   But I thought he played the part with a great deal of seriousness, unlike what I expected from the trailers. The movie was, of course, an origin story but it told both the origin of the Lone Ranger and Tonto. You even learn why Tonto spends the entire movie with a dead crow on his head. And it actually makes sense.

The dialog is all early 21st century but that was OK. I wasn't as happy with Armie Hammer as The Lone Ranger. He was a bit too oh gosh naive for me in the beginning. He does grow into the part however.

The movie has issues of course. The special effects were way over done. There is a good story going on here but at times the rushing trains and explosions threatened to derail it, so to speak.

The other thing for me was the scenery. Some of the most beautiful and desolate parts of places other than Texas played a prominent part of the story. I don't think a single minute of the movie was filmed in Texas. Mostly we were seeing New Mexico and Utah. I can get over that. I'm pretty sure the old Lone Ranger TV show was filmed in the suburbs of Los Angeles, not Texas.

Did you know that the First Transcontinental Railroad was built through Texas?  That's what this movie says. This is the unforgivable sin of this movie, to twist history so badly. They clearly wanted trains in the movie so that there would be something technological as a basis for the massive special effects,  but as near as I can tell from Wikipedia there was maybe 200 miles of track in Texas in 1870.

I recommend that you see the movie but bring a big ole bottle of suspension of disbelief with you.

Apparently Johnny Depp and company planned this to be a new franchise. The movie cost a staggering $250 million to make. So far it's grossed $75 mil. That looks like box office failure to me. By the way, the 1981 movie only cost $18 million (which was real money back then) and only grossed $8 million. And what ever happened to Klinton Spillsbury who had the title role? It was his movie debut and the last movie he ever made.

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