Depp falls flat in ‘The Lone Ranger’

Alex LaSalle

Tonto might say, Lone Ranger bad movie. Too long. Lack focus.

Well, that’s what the Tonto of the original “The Lone Ranger” series might say. Johnny Depp’s interpretation speaks in fuller, though still efficient, sentences. Heavy with sarcasm and derision toward “Stupid white man.”

This movie is as much about Tonto as it is the Lone Ranger himself, if not more so. Because of this, it’s all the more disappointing that Depp seems to forget he isn’t playing Jack Sparrow any more. He uses many the same half-drunk mannerisms, as well as the familiar running motion like his pants are full of sand – except it’s sand from a desert instead of a beach. It’s easy to see him thinking, “Me copy earlier character. Collect paycheck.”

Depp also takes up more screen time than Armie Hammer, who plays the titular Lone Ranger – a lawyer named John Reid – as a naïve, new-to-the-west buffoon. His iconic mask is half-explained with ambiguous reasoning. He also has a similar no killing rule except Batman had things under control, while even to the end, the Ranger still feels like he’s in over his head, wasting Hammer’s natural on-screen charisma.

There’s a plot involving riches, a railroad and revenge, but it’s unremarkable. It’s also weighed down by some mystic side plots icluding Tonto thinking the Lone Ranger to be a “spirit walker.” It all just weighs down the plot, smothers the otherwise strong sense of humor and leads to a 149-minute running time. Movie too long. Getting bored.

The action scenes are the only real strong point of the film. Fun, entertaining, and it’s hard not to get roused up when the William Tell Overture – you’ll recognize it, trust me –starts playing during a climactic locomotive scene.

But it isn’t enough to save a bloated, unremarkable flop. As Tonto would say, Movie not very good. Wasted money on ticket. Watch other movie instead.