Going into The Lone Ranger, the film already had one major strike in my book: the casting of white guy Johnny Depp as Tonto. Even assuming that the film could actually avoid Native American stereotypes, and even with the best of intentions from Depp, the casting was offensive. As it turns out, the casting choice is one of the less offensive parts of the film. Even with a top-notch cast and a proven director-actor team in Depp and director Gore Verbanski (the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films), The Lone Ranger is a disaster. Don’t let the Disney brand attached to the film fool you: this is not a film for children. The film is cruelly violent, at times in a borderline-R manner. The tone of the film is scattershot. Deadly serious scenes are followed by comedic bits. The film is interspersed with footage of an old Tonto telling the story to a young boy in the 1930s, even though it’s completely unnecessary to the film. The film is also part of Hollywood’s recent trend of making unduly lengthy popcorn flicks; The Lone Ranger has a runtime of 149 minutes. Finally, the film seems embarrassed at the character of the Lone Ranger, with one scene near the film’s end in particular serving as a proverbial middle finger to previous incarnations of the character. Ultimately, The Lone Ranger deserves to join in the fate of other recent Disney misfires like John Carter and Prince of Persia.
The Lone Ranger