THE LONE RANGER
* * * *
(Exciting, funny, bizarre western)
This is not “The Lone Ranger” we grew up with.
If you want to suspend your years of watching The Lone Ranger and Tonto fight evil in the movies, on television and, for some of us, on the radio, you’ll get an entirely new and somewhat bizarre version of the masked man and his faithful companion.
It is long: two and a half hours. So what! Where else can you keep cool, have a few laughs, and watch Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer reinvent two icons.
The movie opens at a 1933 San Francisco carnival, where an old Indian comes alive to a young boy, telling him the story of the origin of the famous crime-fighting team.
Hammer plays John Reid, a Texas attorney in the old west, who watches his brother being gunned down by the evil Butch Cavendish (William Fitchner). Reid is left for dead, but Tonto saves his life after “talking” to a wild horse who tells him that the man is a “spirit warrior” and can’t be killed.
This is the time when the railroad is being built through Indian territory and greedy politicians and businessmen go to extremes extending the rails to California.
Who will stop the bad guys, who stand to make millions from exploiting Chinese laborers and running off with millions in silver?
The Lone Ranger and Tonto turn rebels, even robbing a bank, as they bond, become a team, and save the west. But not before shooting up the town, blowing up a bridge, saving a lady in distress and fighting off the cavalry.
If you stay for the credits, you’ll see a list of hundreds of stunt men and special effects folks, all of who contribute to some incredible scenes. Outrageous as they are, they are also entertaining and exciting.
When you hear “The William Tell Overture” begin, you are in for one of the most unbelievable train chases ever brought to the big screen.
And all your questions will be answered: Who was that masked man? Why does he wear a mask? What’s with the silver bullet? What does “kemosabee” mean?
They may not be the answers you expected, but they sure make for some unusual humor.
This may be a bit too much for some folks. Like the train racing toward the booby-trapped bridge, it does get out of control. And like Johnny Depp’s Tonto, it is a bit over the top. But it is entertaining.
Rated PG-13, with violence and gore.