drucilla’s review published on Letterboxd:
hi-ho, silver! away!
unfortunately, that's kind of what i want this movie to do--go away. this was one of the summer movies for which i was most excited. i love armie hammer, the trailer looked exciting, and i like westerns. i was a little bit iffy on johnny depp, because we all know that he has a tendency to go a bit overboard. i was both pleased and relieved that he didn't "overweird" the role of tonto. in fact, all of the performances were pretty great--even armie hammer, who manages to play the same character in every role (but i think it's only because of his accent/voice that he seems incapable of changing at all). so, decent performances across the board from the cast, but nothing particularly noteworthy.
the thing that really knocked this film down for me was the fact that it was, essentially, two hours of build-up/plot for twenty minutes of action. now, don't get me wrong--the final action scene was kick-ass, but in a trailer that made it seem like the entire movie was going to be that way, it really fell flat. i don't mind long movies; i don't even mind boring movies, if i go into them knowing that they're going to be boring. but the lone ranger shouldn't have been boring. it does have a good story and the story is compelling . . . but in this film, it was over-long and predictable, making it, frankly, unenjoyable.
the other thing that ruined the film for me was the way in which they decided to tell the narrative. the film begins in san francisco in 1933, where a little boy dressed as the lone ranger sees an older tonto as a wax figure in a museum. the wax figure then comes to life and begins to tell the boy the real story of the lone ranger. throughout the film, it cuts back several times to the elderly tonto and the little boy. not only does this distract greatly from the main narrative of the story, it has no impact whatsoever on the viewers. it doesn't resonate emotionally, nor is it necessary to tell the story. the narrative of the lone ranger itself would have been more than satisfactory. it was pointless to even have 1933 as a setting at all; there was no reason to go back in time/use flashbacks or memories.
helena bonham carter's character was also unnecessary, and not in the film enough to justify her being on the poster or in any promotional ads for the film. but, as usual, where johnny goes, helena follows . . . even when it doesn't make sense.
those are really my only complaints, though. the moments of comedic relief were quite amusing, the actors did a great job, and everything is explained and makes sense. i just wanted there to be more action, more intensity, more seeing john reid really become the lone ranger and forging a great friendship with tonto--and you don't really get a whole lot of that.
was it worth watching? sure, especially if you like any of the actors even the tiniest bit. it wasn't awful, after all. but would i ever watch it again? no, unless it was for a pretty hefty sum of money.
color me disappointed.