The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger ★★★½

The Lone Ranger arrived on British shores with a serious amount of baggage in the form of almost universal condemnation from its domestic critics and frightening opening weekend box-office takings. Yet, from the moment Gore Verbinski's rambunctious revisionist western sets off, in an ecstatic frenzy of action, but a mere taste of what's to come, it's hard to see what was so widely displeasing the Americans.

The impact of its flying start slowly diminishes over the course of an exhaustive, poorly handled second third. This is a necessary change of pace, but sadly a generic narrative never reaches the heights of its intense action. Thankfully lavish visuals and a unique chemistry between Armie Hammer's John Reid and Johnny Depp's Tonto are (just) enough to maintain interest.

It's certainly bloated, often messy and fraught with errors, but Verbinski rewards your patience with an exhilarating finale straight out of the classic westerns to mask any previous flaw. Expectations were set low, but this contemporary western, that sits somewhere between homage and parody, boldly sacrifices the typically grating Disney sentimentality for an abundance of indulgent, if a little excessive, action. The results are thoroughly entertaining.

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