The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger ★★½

An overlong, ill-disciplined, often spectacular, frequently deranged $200million folly, with a charisma-free lead actor and a crackpot Johnny Depp, seemingly having free reign to play Tonto as oddball as humanly possible. Striking gold with an unfashionable genre like pirate movies is one thing, but trying to recreate the formula by resurrecting another stagnant series was clearly a gamble too far for the combined clout of Disney/Bruckheimer/Verbinski. The Lone Ranger doesn't really deserve its box-office bomb status, there's actually brilliant stuff in it, but it's as out of control as its runaway trains. It's frankly one of the year's oddest films, in many ways bold, brave and endlessly ambitious, not afraid to tackle some of the darkest elements of early American history head-on. Yet it's an entirely schizophrenic film, completely all over the place tonally and stylistically, happy to throw absolutely everything into the mix and see what sticks during its ridiculously bloated duration. It's actually a mystery who the target audience is here, The Lone Ranger is a film which largely ignores the wholesome appeal of the original vintage TV series, instead wildly veering between family-friendly blockbuster fodder and strange, sinister, almost straight-up horror movie tropes - there's cannibalism and crazy killer rabbits tossed into the bewildering ingredients of a film which has some of the best moments of any movie this year, but could quite easily take its place amongst the worst films of 2013.

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