Movie Review: "The Lone Ranger" 2013

There is a lot of recreations of properties that are close to people.  From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek to now the Lone Ranger.  With Johnny Depp coming in to play Tonto, people have been waiting to see where they were going to go with this film.  Personally I know I have watched some things of the Lone Ranger, one of my dogs from my childhood was name Kemosabe.  Another dog we recently lost to cancer was named Tonto.  So the Lone Ranger has been a part of my life, just not a media I’ve studied much into.  So while I wanted to see the Lone Ranger movie, I did not except to love the film as much as I do.

The movie starts off being told by Tonto, an old version of him speaks to a child.  Sharing the story of the Lone Ranger and himself in a way that no one would suspect.  As we watch a totally new take on the Lone Ranger and how he became the hero that we know him as in many different stories.  A new fun origin for a true classic.  With Indians, train fights, and horses.

The story goes that John Ried came to town to handle law.  This is where he grew up, and his brother was the leader of the rangers.  On his train to town there was a bad guy, Butch Cavendish who was being brought to town for a public hanging and a locked up indian, Tonto.  Butch is known for killing lots of Indians.  The train gets attacked by robbers, who go to free Butch, Tonto tries to stop Butch from getting away.  Though when he he goes to kill Butch, John stops him.  Butch gets away, as all John could do was make sure Tonto did not get away too.

Once in town John’s brother shows up, with the other Rangers they are going to go on a manhunt for Butch.  John wants to go.  Things go really bad on this manhunt.  Leaving it up to John and Tonto to go after Butch, with the help of a white horse.   Along the way we learn who helped Butch away, what Butch really wants and why Tonto was locked up on that train to begin with.  

This is an action packed movie with a strong story line.  The hardest part about making a movie this filled with action is keeping the audience engaged in the story.  If the action is too short people are disappointed, if the action is too long people do get bored with it. Making that balance a very important part of the film.  The Lone Ranger caught that balance just perfect.  There was never a time in the movie where I thought ‘when is this fight going to end’ or ‘wow that’s it?’.  They got me on the edge of my seat wondering how the Lone Ranger and Tonto were going to get out of one problem after another.  A very impressive film.  

The cast included Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger, a hero who fell into a dangerous spot and was able to come through.  Tonto is played by Johnny Depp, when I first heard this I questioned how it was going to work out.  Johnny has played many characters from Edward Scissorhands, Wonka, Jack Sparrow to Sweeney Todd.  Each of these characters one big leap from the next, with so many other names stacking up in his character list, Tonto was never one I would have even thought of for him. He brought a new and exciting feel to Tonto and the part worked out even better than I could’ve imagined.  The lead villain, Butch was played by William Fichtner, he did a great job at being a cut throat bad guy ready to do what he has to get what he wants.  

As most everyone knows Cowabunga Corner focuses alot on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so this is something I can not pass up mentioning here.  William Fichtner is casted as the Shredder in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. This is something I am not sure how I feel about yet, I did really like his work here on the Lone Ranger, but one of my favorite things in Ninja Turtle history was the original Shredder’s background.  I’m not talking the old cartoon, I’m talking the Mirage Shredder.  Something which I always hope to see caught in a film, though this change pulls us almost as far away from that origin as the 4Kids TMNT series did with their alien Shredder.  As long as William at least remains a human Shredder, I may find a reason to like him.  I do wish that movies would not take it into their hands to change characters this much though, a recent piece of crap that did this was the Avatar the Last Airbender movie.  I was excited about the film as I love the cartoon, though when I saw it I found myself hating the movie with a passion.  I truly hope that this does not happen here with such strong changes being made.

Back to the Lone Ranger.  This cast worked very well and clearly played these characters in a new fresh way from who they were back in the day.  While the actors were able to bring these characters to the screen it was the writers who gave each of these characters their new changes.  Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio and Justin Haythe were able to put twists to the “Lone Ranger” story that would catch the eyes of a new generation of fans while keeping the spirit of the series.  Gore Verbinski who directed the original three Pirates of the Caribbean movies and the animated film Rango was brought on to direct this film.  

Together this cast and crew put together a masterpiece.  While we’ve had some big movies come out already this year like “Oz”, I have found myself placing “The Lone Ranger” at the top of my list for great movies I’ve seen for 2013.  I highly recommend this movie to everyone, perfect to take friends, families, and groups too.  A movie that is worth seeing more than once on the big screen.  And one I know I will be picking up on Blu-ray as soon as it’s in stores.

Have you seen the new Lone Ranger movie?  Are you a long time fan of the Lone Ranger?  Please share your thoughts of this new film, the changes, the cast and the history here.  All reviews, comments and questions are welcomed below!

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Good Turtle Fan's picture

Just like Star Trek we were screwed.  My dad HATES what they did to Lone Ranger and I'm right there with 'em.  What next will evil Hollywood ruin?  Those ingrates!