The Lone Ranger (2013)

TheLoneRanger2013Poster.jpgMild, Mild West

Ambushed by a heart-eating outlaw and left for dead, John Reid is rescued by the renegade Comanche, Tonto, becoming a reluctant masked rider to pursue the criminal against all obstacles to avenge his brother.

Upon it's critical mauling and lack of a box office presence, stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer laid the blame upon the critics for reacting too harshly towards their film. While it's understandable that they were defending their work, it's a rather childish thing to blame the lack of audience interest upon a group of others who were merely doing their job, as opposed to seeing why audiences weren't taken with the film. Surely if critics could make a film a box-office bomb, Grown Ups 2 wouldn't have ended up making back 3 times its budget?

It would help things if the lead characters were interesting enough, but unfortunately, that's not the case. Armie Hammer has proved himself to be a capable enough actor, being one of the few good things in last years Mirror Mirror, but he's given poor material to work with. His character is portrayed as an idealist, who firmly believes in the law, and as a result, this makes him come off as a weakling whiny buffoon and far from the type of character you'd want to follow for a possible franchise.

Odd casting choice of Johnny Depp as a Native American aside, Tonto fails to stand out, instead feeling like a bored rehash of a typically kooky Johnny Depp character. He could have used this opportunity to play a different type of character, one struggling to cope with the weight of his past mistake, but instead Depp falls back on his typical madness, with scenes having him converse with a horse and feeding the dead bird that resides atop his head.

"No, I didn't take any drugs, why do you ask?"

The rest of the performances are bland, with the exception of William Fichtner's scenery chewing performance, and Helena Bonham Carter fails to justify her inclusion, with all of her scenes feeling little more than superfluous. Poor Ruth Wilson suffers the most, falling into the dated trope of a helpless woman who does little more than getting smacked about, held hostage and be a part of an unnecessary love triangle.

The film is advertised for all the family, but the dark content says otherwise, containing villains cutting out hearts and eating them, heads getting crushed, a venture into a brothel and near-genocide. To his credit, Verbinski tries to make this far from a grim affair by including a dose of humor, but it's just a shame the attempts to get laughs feel awkward and unfunny, with the film lowering itself enough to make a poo joke. One recurring joke involves characters repeatedly asking about the Lone Rangers mask, which never manages to set anyone laughing and sadly won't stop.

Clocking in at 149 minutes, Disney's latest attempt at a franchise overstays its welcome, with its predictable beats and poor dialogue more likely to induce yawns than interest in a sequel. It would help things if any of the characters were interesting but no, we have to follow a whiny buffoon and a bored rehash of the typical kooky Johnny Depp character, while enduring poor attempts at humor and a superfluous Helena Bonham Carter. If you get offered the chance to watch this, don't give into peer pressure, Hi Ho Silver your way out of there.