Photo courtesy Disney
Westender’s Jimmy Wall got a sneak peak of The Lone Ranger 2013 remake. It is a bit different from the old TV series he grew up with, but deems it as a must-see-film for anyone that enjoys a lot of action and some good laughs.
The Lone Ranger was one of many old shows I grew up watching as kid, which is why I am always a bit hesitant to embrace remakes, especially with remakes such as the Green Hornet and 21 Jump Street. They were action TV series turned into comedy films for some odd reason.
Which is why the first few minutes of the film somewhat worried me a bit when it started off at an amusement park from the 1930s, when The Lone Ranger is a western set in the late 1800s. The camera zooms in on a kid dressed as The Lone Ranger. He enters a tent with the theme Wild West. There he sees The Noble Savage, which looks like a wax figure of an old American Indian. To his surprise the wax figure presumably comes to life and starts telling the kid a story about The Lone Ranger (Armei Hammer) and himself, Tonto (Johnny Depp).
That the story about The Lone Ranger is told by a much older Tonto is intriguing and rather clever way to repackage the story for both a new and younger audience, and also the old geezers that grew up with The Lone Ranger, like myself. A story about how John Reid (Hammer) accidentally ends up as The Lone Ranger and Tonto’s Ke-mo sah-bee, following their quests to right the wrongs in society.
John Reid is determined to revenge his brother’s death, but as a lawyer he is very reluctant to become The Lone Ranger Tonto wants him to be, a gun-slinging hero with no hesitation of killing outlaws. He eventually learns that diplomacy does not work so well with outlaws, after much frustration from Tonto. Armie Hammer plays John Reid very well and projects the perfect hero. A hero that tries to be merciful, but in the end does not bow down to outlaws.
Tonto wants revenge for what happened to his tribe, and claims The Lone Ranger has been chosen by the spirit horse, Silver, to help him and be his Ke-mo sah-bee. As usual Johnny Depp does an amazing job at playing the weird and unpredictable character. A character laced with sarcasm and witty remarks. The humour is well-balanced without making it too silly, especially when the film is advertised as an action-adventure.
With most films, they all have their weaknesses, and The Lone Ranger is no exception. About half-way through the film it seems as if the writers decided to become a bit too creative and added a bunch of twists towards the end. Not two, or three- counting the ones in the first-half of the film -but enough that I lost count of them all. Sometimes that can be an exciting tool to build suspense, but it became a bit too frequent and just ended up being annoying. When I knew the film was about to end, I still had some worry that another twist would emerge, which is not a good thing, but luckily it did not.
Another weakness was in fact how the story was setup. As I explained early on, that Tonto tells the story of him and The Lone Ranger to a random kid at an amusement park dressed as The Lone Ranger. I guess it is a bit weird if you grew up with the TV series, but the transitions back and forth seemed a bit random, even though it provided some comic relief and it was an interesting concept and approach I found fascinating.
The Lone Ranger offers a lot of action that will satisfy any action-film-junky, and to alleviate the heavy dosage of action it offers some drama. The comedy added into the mix is just perfect – when you can laugh out loud at a wooden beam that crushes the heads of two outlaws, it is done right. Not forgetting the story itself – it is an extremely good western story, even with those annoying twists. It is one of those films that has it all – fun for the whole family, as they say.
It will be in cinemas across Australia July 4.
For more info about the film and to how to buy tickets, visit: http://theloneranger.com.au/