Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

July 2, 2013

CALLERI: "The Lone Ranger" derails right from the start


Niagara Gazette — Buffalo’s William Fichtner plays the evil Cavendish with a mouth distorted by scars. When he talks, it sounds as if he’s speaking a bizarre language. This psychopathic outlaw is so cruel that after he kills Reid’s brother, he cuts out his heart and eats it. For the price of a ticket, you get to experience this along with Cavendish’s delight.

Keep your children away from this movie. Seriously, keep them away.

There is a storyline about a corrupt railroad baron (Tom Wilkinson). Because of the production mindset with which we’re dealing, we also have the Lone Ranger’s confusion at finding his dead brother’s wife attractive. Helena Bonham Carter then shows up as a whore with a peg-leg in which she hides a shotgun. In Depp and Verbinski’s vision, Indians are victims and clowns, and women are icons of immorality.

The Lone Ranger built its reputation on radio and in the innocent world of 1950s American television, so it’s easy to believe that people in the Old West might not recognize John Reid behind his Lone Ranger mask, all gussied up with a big white hat, wearing cowboy boots, and slinging a gun. However in the film, everyone is dumber than hay. Lawyer Reid is probably the best-looking man ever seen in Frontierland. He (and the Lone Ranger) are blandly acted by 6’5” Armie Hammer. Unrecognizable? Hardly. If they don’t remember his handsome face, they should certainly recall his boring speaking voice.

As the movie lumbers along haphazardly, with inconsistent story threads unraveling, Depp’s Tonto practically turns into comic actor Buster Keaton. The train material is influenced by Keaton’s “The General.” By the time our hero has his head pulled through horse manure, you may well be ready to flee the theater. The 149-minute saga feels like being dragged through sagebrush for a month. And how did Monument Valley end up in Texas?

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