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DVD Shopping Bag: The Lone Ranger Blu-ray

High Oh! or Oh No?

By Robert T. Trate     December 10, 2013
Source: Mania.com

 In 1981, a new Lone Ranger movie had surfaced from those thrilling days of yesteryear. I was all of six years old and knew it was terrible. Yes, The Legend of The Lone Ranger failed to reignite the masked man. So, here we are in 2013 and the masked man is ready to ride again. Though I am a few decades older, I started to wonder, while watching the film, who is this movie for?

The film’s plot follows the origin story of the Lone Ranger close enough. John Reid (Armie Hammer) is deputized by his brother (James Badge Dale) to be a Texas Ranger in the hopes of finding an outlaw. They are set up and murdered. John is the only survivor, who is rescued by Tonto (Johnny Depp). The two form a pact to bring those that murdered John’s brother to justice.  In the confines of this story, it works extremely well and we are off and running on the adventure. 

The film seems to have all the right players in place. Johnny Depp as Tonto, a win. Gore Verbinski to direct, a man with 3 Pirates of the Caribbean films to his credit. Jerry Bruckheimer to produce, who wouldn’t want that? Plus, a recent Oscar nominee, Armie Hammer, to be the Lone Ranger. So when the corny jokes and big action sequences arrive, I found myself both rolling my eyes and smiling. 

I would like to say that this film is for kids. It’s big, loud, and funny. Hammer’s Lone Ranger is a do-right likable hero. Depp, as Tonto, is very much of the same. However, as performances go, Depp  doesn’t disappear in character like he usually does. In fact, it seems more like Johnny Depp just playing an Indian. What makes me think that it was for kids is the editing out of the grittier moments. The main villain, Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner), at one point eats the Lone Ranger’s brother’s heart. This is implied, not shown on screen, and then mentioned in the story. A pretty gruesome move for a Disney movie, talked about or shown. There are also weird sexual moments over Red Harrington’s (Helen Bonham Carter) ivory leg by a few characters. The woman does work in a brothel, but this is still a bit much for the kiddies. There is a whole subplot that nature is out of balance, shown by ravenous bunnies, though that is left hanging and never resolved. Scary for kids with no resolution, not very Disney. The involvement of the Lone Ranger’s nephew is part of the origin story, which again makes this ideal for the kids. 

The big problem is that everyone, not just Disney, is out for the next franchise picture. The Lone Ranger is a likely candidate. It is steeped in history and its appeal could be generational. However, where Disney fell short was trying to appeal to everyone. If you plan on making the movie for kids, then do it. Forget about the action junkies, the summer audience, and those that like sexual innuendos. The movie never ends. There are tons of characters introduced and everyone seems to need their 15 to 20 minutes of screen time. I never felt as if this was the Lone Ranger’s movie. I did, at times, feel like it was Tonto’s. That eventually gave way to it being an ensemble piece. 

When will we see the next great adventure? Disney certainly didn’t find it out west or on Mars. Perhaps a new original idea is on the horizon. We certainly do need it. 
 
The Lone Ranger releases on Blu-ray Combo Pack on December 17th!
 

Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. Gatchaman Complete Collection [Blu-ray
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3. Big Trouble in Little China [Blu-ray]
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5. Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: The Day of the Doctor (Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD Combo)

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Fast & Furious 6 (Extended Edition) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD with UltraViolet) Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

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Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) Starring Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Ed Wynn and Hermione Baddeley

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COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 5 of 5
1 
Dazzler 12/10/2013 3:47:01 AM

I liked this enough to get the blu ray, but will wait for a big price drop first. 

marcd30319 12/10/2013 3:50:15 AM

 A total misfire, no pun intended.  Johnny Depp played Johnny Depp playing what Johnny Deep thought a native American should be played.  Arnie Hammer should sue his agents.

goirish83 12/10/2013 8:54:33 AM

No amount of blu-ray features can fix train wreck of a movie.  This was easily one of the worst 5 movies I watched in 2013.

karas1 12/10/2013 8:58:01 AM

This movie was told in the "unreliable narrator" mode.  It was a story that Tonto was telling to a child and things like killer bunny rabbits should be taken with a grain of salt.  I think Tonto was "enhansing" his tale.

I like the film though I think it could have been cut down a little.  It was too long and dragged in the middle.

fenngibbon 12/10/2013 9:42:55 AM

 Isn't the Lone Ranger's nephew the father of the Green Hornet?

1 

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