Eppler: 'Lone Ranger' isn't for kids or anyone else

Reported by: James Eppler
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Updated: 7/08/2013 10:45 am

On Twitter: @JamesEppler

There's not much reason anyone under the age of, say, 50 should know who the Lone Ranger is, and that's fine because this movie isn't for kids. It may not be for anyone. Disney's retelling of the Lone Ranger story is often dark, violent bizarre and crazy long at two-and-a-half hours.

The team that brought us the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series is behind this western, but unlike that series, "The Lone Ranger" just isn't that much fun.

Told through the eyes of Johnny Depp's Tonto, who has sadly become a circus freak in his older years, we see how a prosecutor played by Armie Hammer becomes a Texas Ranger and a masked hero.

Hammer's performance is suitable to what's written, but his character is a wet noodle never worth rooting for. Depp's work as Tonto is a rare miss for the talented actor. It's not a racist or offensive performance - that would at least make it interesting. Instead, Depp spends the movie mugging for the camera and feeding the dead bird on his head. Really.
Directed by Gore Verbinski, the movie looks great and it's easy to see where that 225 million bucks went. The sets are impressive, and the action sequences and stunts are pretty terrific.

But the script is a strange hodgepodge of bad jokes, off-putting violence, genocide, and sight gags. Don't get me started on the vampire bunnies.

How could Depp and Verbinski's instincts lead them so far astray after the terrific western they made together a few years ago called "Rango?"
When this Lone Ranger rides off into the sunset I'm fine if he stays there.


Out of five stars

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