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Rated 3.56 stars
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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
An Unintended Parody
by Geoffrey D. Roberts

If you are thinking about buying your children the latest Lone Ranger movie to introduce them to the iconic character, please think twice. Why? This latest film, released in 2013, is definitely not for youngsters.  It depicts wholesale slaughters of people and runs over with rampant violence and nastiness. At the same time, the movie’s adult flavor will likely bore young boys and girls. Plus, genuine humor seems sparse here.

The Lone Ranger, portrayed by Armie Hammer, appears none too bright. And as this fact unfolds, the masked rider ceases to engage our attention, which gets shifted to his Native American mentor played by Johnny Depp, whose portrayal of the faithful Tonto comes across as nothing short of ludicrous. Together, this unlikely pair fail to return us to the thrilling days of yesteryear. In fact, there is nothing thrilling about them. They are two bumblers who demand too much of the audience’s patience in this too-long movie. Most people who are familiar with the resolute masked rider from old TV shows, played by Clayton Moore as a heroic figure, and his noble Native American sidekick, portrayed by Jay Silverheels, will probably be let down by this presentation of the legendary duo.

As for the great horse Silver, I think the steed they chose looks a little wimpy for the role. I have a feeling director Gore Verbinski simply told his prop-people, “Get me a white horse.” The original Silver could outrun any horse he was chasing or any horse chasing him. But what this horse lacks in physical impressiveness, he makes up for with some very unhorse-like abilities. For example, he can jump from the rooftop of burning buildings with his rider on his back and race headlong along the roofs of a speeding train. And so this Silver loses his credibility quicker than his slow-witted rider. Though I must admit, I found myself wondering how Silver’s train romp was created. That roof-top gallop lasts a little too long, though. It had me fearing the animal was going to run out of train, and then what? But like the movie itself, it was a long, long train.

Still, the film starts out well enough. The re-creation of the era and setting looks impressive, as do the special effects, but approximately half-way through the on-screen antics the movie morphs into a fantasy. At that point, one’s suspended disbelief rapidly loses most of its suspension.  

Director Gore Verbinski expected too much from his audience. He has unintentionally produced a parody of the respected Lone Ranger story. Artistic license is one thing -- but anything goes is another.

(Released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and rated “PG-13” for sequences of intense action and violence and some suggestive material.)

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