Saturday, August 3, 2013

Movies In Review: Lone Ranger

Originally, I was leery about watching this depiction of an old classic American television series, especially after reading how a friend detested this movie and his inability to disconnect from previous movies the actors had been in. Most specifically, Pirates of the Caribbean saga, which starred Johnny Depp. Here Depp plays Tonto, a Native American that, through great tribulation, is seeking revenge from a wrong done to him many moons ago. I watched with a critical eye and thought Depp delivered an enjoyable rendition of the American Indian Icon in Tonto. Of course, he has to put his signature on his eccentric characters, I believe this is part of Depp's charm and a technique to capture the audience and connect with them to deliver an escape from the ordinary; which, let's face it - is desperately needed sometimes.
Spirit Horse and Tonto
We first see Depp's character Tonto, many years later and in a wild west circus act. A young boy, dressed similar to The Lone Ranger himself, awakens the sleeping savage and begins to tell his tales. The make-up involved into turning Depp into a very old version of Tonto was amazing. What ties his performance together is his dead bird friend that he supports on top of his head. When Tonto was asked why he feeds a dead bird, Tonto's reply is something along the line of, he's feeding the spirit. Then at the end of the movie, when the old Tonto leaves the circus enclosure, a black bird that looks like the one that had been upon his head flies out, much like a free spirit that has been unleashed.

The Lone Ranger Houses Great Talent

Armie Hammer brings life to deputy John Reid, the Lone Ranger himself, who sheds his rose colored classes for the dust filled ones as a result of his home town in the west being consumed by the power and greed behind the iron giant of the railroad. I think Hammer brings a genuine humanity to his character. John Reid is fresh from law school and still believes in the naive justice prevails facade.  This morale code begins to crack on his train ride home, when he first encounters Tonto and the villainous Butch Cavendish played by William Fichtner. Fichtner's character is someone you definitely wouldn't want to cross paths with. Cavendish is ruthless and homicidal with a taste for flesh! But even he has a boss. Upstanding American citizen, educated, well dressed; Cole. The businessman with the hidden agenda - he should have been in politics! Cole's character is played by the wonderful talents of Tom Wilkinson. Cole is one of the two men that lead Tonto toward revenge, having found silver near Tonto's people, Cole and his accomplice wiped out the threat, leaving Tonto to carry the burden of his good heart.
Of course, what Johnny Depp movie is complete without Helena Bonham Carter? She plays Red Harrington, a one legged Madame. Where it is believed Cavendish or Cole had consumed her dreams of becoming a ballerina, taking a leg. She's a survivor though, and she rebuilt the leg to fashion a shot gun, that she can utilize with deadly force! The other damsel in the movie is the widow Rebecca Reid, who had been married to the Lone Rangers older brother, savagely murdered by Cavendish, and ignites John Reid toward vengeance of his own and transforms into the Lone Ranger. However, Rebecca's character played by Ruth Wilson, was the only character that I had a hard time connecting with. She might be a good actor, but to me, wasn't a good fit for the character. I couldn't help starring at her upper lip too, it seems to protrude further and almost misshapes her natural beauty.

Overall - I would suggest that you should go and see it. Unless your budget belt is tightened, then I would wait for the rental. But, if you have the means to spend the outrageous price of the theater tickets, then definitely take the chance to see this on the big screen.