For a producer, Jerry Bruckheimer sure does leave his mark on pictures. The Lone Ranger is a classic wild west tale, much as the Pirates of the Caribbean series is a classic pirates-on-the-high-seas franchise, and it has all the action, and violence, you would expect from a wild west, with a little humour thrown in for good measure.
Tonto (Johnny Depp) is a very, very old man when we first meet him in a display at a carnival that’s just been set up on the banks of the San Francisco Bay, an impossibly old man, an a legend of the great wild west. Mistaking a young boy in a cowboy get up for his buddy The Lone Ranger, Tonto begins to recount the story of how he met and teamed up with the masked outlaw. Though the story is told to a small child and is produced by Disney, this is by no means a picture fit for children, unless your children enjoy a bit of throat slitting or human heart eating.
John Reid (Armie Hammer) is a law man, returning to his home town in the wild west after nine years in the city learning law. An honourable man, John has been away from the harsh countryside for too long, and feels uncomfortable with a gun in his hand, a fact not lost on the trigger happy bandits that run rife in the old west. Fearing he has become a little soft around the edges, he joins his brother on a trek into the desert to track down notorious Indian killer Butch Cavendish (William Fitchner). They are betrayed by their tracker and all shot down, but when Tonto tries to burry John a spirit horse (easily the best character in the film) appears to bring him back from the great beyond, and so begins the adventures of Tonto and The Lone Ranger.
Depp exudes his usual quirkiness as the Comanche with a lot of strange rules and habits, and it works well with Hammer’s uptight, do-no-wrong Texas ranger. Though in the beginning Hammer feels uncomfortable in a comical role, he soon warms into it, and a fine, dashing, honourable outlaw he makes too.
The star of the show is really the spirit horse who appears whenever, and where ever they need him. Plus the big, grand finale action sequence-train-chase-shoot-out scene set to Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” is superb, action packed, funny, grandiose, I can’t express how much of a thrill ride this film was.
Director Gore Verbinski’s classic piece of rollicking good times wild west action adventure makes for a pretty decent day out, coming in a just over two and half hours, you will not regret seeing this film.
The Lone Ranger is in Australian cinemas from 4 July through Disney.