The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger ★★★★★

Film #94 of my 100 Day Disney Marathon (Day 93)

Before I begin this review, I am going to reveal the name of the Bonus Film to end my Disney Marathon after a week of voting. And the winner is...... THE BLACK HOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for voting, and I'm looking forward to seeing this cult favorite for the first time.

Without a doubt, I believe that The Lone Ranger is Disney's most misunderstood film. Sure I've defended underrated animated gems like Atlantis, Treasure Planet, and The Black Cauldron, but I've never seen so much hate and backlash on a Disney film as The Lone Ranger. It was a film I initially thought was OK upon my first viewing, I enjoyed it a little more the second time, but on my third and recent viewing, I now see that The Lone Ranger is surely an excellent western that goes beyond the standard Disney adventure.

Based on the classic serials and series, The Lone Ranger updates the classic icon to PG-13 fare, and as far as Disney goes, this is by far their most brutal film. There's prostitutes, cannibalism, 19th Century racism, and genocide. This is a thought-provoking ordeal that deconstructs the legends of the American West and makes bold statements about the abuse of power that existed to build the railroad. Pretty much, this is what Heaven's Gate SHOULD have done; make a movie with a point, have it well paced, and make the adventure thrilling.

And speaking of adventure, my gosh, the action is awesome! I love that the film mostly utilizes practical effects, and any time trains are used in action sequences, it's gotta be exceptional. The climax involves two runaway trains set to a phenomenal Hans Zimmer arrangement of the "William Tell Overture". It's freaking amazing!!!!!

I guess I understand the criticism in the casting of Johnny Depp as the Native American Tonto, and yes, they probably should have used a real Native American actor, but it is what it is, and I thought Depp did fine. He and Armie Hammer share excellent chemistry together and drive the film to greatness.

I can also understand why some would criticize the length, but it didn't bother me. Even at 2.5 hours, it flies by, and unlike Heaven's Gate which is two hours too long, every scene in this movie has a point. Originally, I criticized Helena Bonham Carter for being a pointless addition to the film, but even in her small screentime and fully understanding the character's backstory, it's cool seeing the character get the justice she deserves. Plus that gun-toting leg. Awesome.

Honestly, I'm really bummed that The Lone Ranger flopped. It's filled with a spectacular cast, it's a cautionary and haunting tale of the harshness of the past while filled with extraordinary action sequences, it's utterly strange but freaking brilliant in its execution, and I loved every minute of it. Apparently this is one of Quentin Tarantino's favorite films, so I'm not the only one.

"Something very wrong with that horse."

100/100 (extremely misunderstood; this needs a Criterion release since Heaven's Gate got one)

NEXT UP..... Frozen. Still shocked that I gave The Lone Ranger a high score? Let it go.....

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