The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger ★★★★

For the most part, I liked the latest version of "The Lone Ranger." Taking the humor down a notch or two would have helped, because sometimes the characters seem a bit silly. The constant "what's with the mask?" running gag was never funny. But, overall the film worked all right and was better than I was expecting.

It's a grand fantasy of a western, and it sure looks nice. Anyone with a hankerin' for a wild west story should get their itch scratched here. I really liked the opening shot, with a child reaching for a lost balloon. And the framing device with the young boy and old Tonto worked surprisingly well for me. I believe the story could be interpreted as all happening in the boy's imagination as he gazed at the Native American display. Just the right touch of fantasy in those scenes.

Armie Hammer was okay as the Lone Ranger. He's not very heroic for most of the film because it's an origin story, but Hammer did a solid job. I was fine with Johnny Depp as Tonto. Again, I think the character of Tonto in particular could have benefited from just a little less comedy.

The bad guys were not that great. William Fichtner as Butch Cavendish was serviceable, if a bit underdrawn. I'm tired of seeing Tom Wilkinson as a villain yet again, and his character was very bland. Since I'm weary of Wilkinson's acting, it was a plus for me that there was little opportunity for him to overact. On the negative side, his character seemed really weak and unthreatening.

Some of the action is cartoony, but not unbearably so. All things considered, "The Lone Ranger" was decent entertainment.

richardfeder liked these reviews