Ranger Should Have Lone Audience Member
Depp, Verbinski deliver overstuffed, nonsensical Western
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 3, 2013 10:14 AM CDT
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(Newser) – The Lone Ranger rides into theaters today, amid a bit of excitement for the reunion of Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp, a decent helping of controversy over Depp's casting as Tonto, and a hail of brutal reviews. Here's what critics are saying:

  • It's so bad, it has to be seen to be believed, writes Mick LaSalle at the San Francisco Chronicle. "But better yet, no. Don't see it, don't believe it, not unless a case of restless leg syndrome sounds like a fun time at the movies." The Lone Ranger himself is "a contemptible idiot," and "the filmmakers have no non-mercenary purpose" in reviving him. Depp is fine "within the limitations of the miserable script," but he "can't borrow a laugh."

  • Depp may say he wants to move Tonto past the "noble savage" cliché, but "the portrayal is nonetheless bothersome," observes Tim Grierson at Screen Daily, because he's "still a bit of a buffoon," possessed of Depp's cutesy deadpan ticks. The action set pieces, meanwhile, wind up being mind-numbing, because Verbinski keeps "increasing the stakes without much thought to the laws of gravity or the limits of the human body."
  • The movie "will unite generations in bafflement, stupefaction, and occasional delight," writes AO Scott at the New York Times. "Atrocities are followed by jokey riffs and sight gags, and what links them is .. a carnival barker's desperate need to hold on to a distracted audience's attention. Look kids, a man eating another man's heart! A horse in a tree! A genocidal massacre! Bunny rabbits with sharp teeth!"
  • "I halfway believe that the discordant qualities of The Lone Ranger are intentional," writes Alex O'Hehir of Salon, one of the few fans, who thinks it's a smart movie "overstuffed with imagination and ideas." It delivers fun and adventure, but "never lets you forget that the Manifest Destiny that drove Anglo-American society across our continent was a thin veneer pasted across a series of genocidal crimes."

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Showing 3 of 24 comments
gangass
Jul 13, 2013 11:23 PM CDT
I wasn't planning on seeing The Lone Ranger because of what the critics were saying, but I checked it out today anyway, and boy I'm glad I did. I thought it was a very entertaining and funny movie. Depp was great as Tonto, but the real scene stealer was Silver. I don't understand some movie critics, especially Kenneth Turan of the L.A. Times (he doesn't seem to like anything). This is the last time I'll read a movie review from anybody (especially Turan). In fact, from now on, anytime I read a review from Turan that states he doesn't like a certain movie, I'll make sure and go see it!!!
ppaca
Jul 4, 2013 11:26 PM CDT
This wasn't meant to be a serious movie or a recreation of past Lone Ranger sagas. It is as what it it was meant to be, a spoof of the story. That's why Johnny Depp played Tonto. If you can't handle sight gags or the ridiculous script, don't see it. But everyone in the theater was laughing hilariously. I'm surprised any movie critic could even review it. Their noses are stuck too high in the stratosphere, as are those of most of the commenters on this site.
RocketMan
Jul 4, 2013 9:55 PM CDT
It's "entertainment", people! Certainly no more outlandish than the Starship Enterprise plowing up San Francisco or some overgrown ape carrying a screaming lady up the side of the Empire State Building. Suspend your disbelief and enjoy yourself (except for the part where you cannot believe they would spend north of $250M to make this movie).