Wednesday, July 3, 2013
The Lone Ranger
As first created in 1933, the mask wearing ex-Texas Ranger John Reid (Armie Hammer) is a go-by-the-book straight shooter. Set in the 19th century, he comes to the wild wild West searching for criminals who killed his brother. When he is captured by an outlaw on a hijacked train and is locked together with an Indian Tonto (Jonny Depp), they bond together to become a heroic team, with a magical and elegant white horse along the side.
Claimed to be spirit who cannot be killed, the two warriors gallop across a magnificent landscape, pull out unharmed from one battle after another one, fight outlaws led by Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner), and derail a greedy conspiracy by a railroad tycoon Latham Cole (Tom Wilkinson). Yes, they are very busy.
It would be a frustrating and unnecessary attempt to make sense of the repetitive and murky plot. The film's focus is something else. The film seems to get made with a particular set of target audience in mind — those teenagers who fantasize riding a fast horse, shooting guns, perhaps also hijacking a fast moving train. That fantasy is successfully reenacted again and again in the film, by two able actors Armie Hammer and Jonny Depp.
Even sometimes it's unclear about what's really going on in an action sequence, the action looks awesome on the screen anyway. The characters are so lucky to be able to ride their horses in breath-taking scenery routes. Instead of rushing to somewhere to shoot a gun, why not stop and enjoy the view?
Thanks to the writers, Jonny Depp's character Tonto looks rather dumb than amusing in this film. His few words often state the obvious, which is supposed to be funny at a juvenile level without slight hint of wit. Tonto is presumably to be an American Indian. Therefore, Jonny Depp is completely hid away under a ridiculous makeup. Let's hope that won't be the case in this film's sequel. I am sure he can do a fine job as an American Indian under his own skin.
The long running time on a thin story can be dreadful, but often well-choreographed action sequences and the stunning landscape visual make the film bearable. It's comforting to know that Jonny Depp is going back to the sea later. Hopefully, he will stay there and leave the California desert alone.