Fact: We don't hear the famously rousing call to action until near the end of the movie's nearly 150-minute running time. Will that matter for the cowboys and cowgirls who line up to see the latest live-action spectacle from the creators of the Pirates of the Caribbean series?
Director Gore Verbinski, mega-explosive producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Johnny Depp hope to infuse their special brand of humor, puzzling set pieces and gun-toting action to the 80-year-old legend.
Armie Hammer is John Reid, do-gooder in the shadow of his lawman brother. A dastardly plot puts Reid and a Native American warrior (Depp) on the same side to prevent a war and derail a scheming trainman.
But first, Reid's gotta wear a mask…
Early word on the film has been largely negative, but then again, no one sees a summer blockbuster as a contender for awards season.
Our take: The visuals are gorgeous, the action never lets up, and Depp is still entertaining—delivering his unique brand of eccentric. At the end of the day, The Lone Ranger is more akin to Batman Begins or Star Trek '09: less of a remake, more of a set-up with a twist on the origin story. Which merits plus and minuses.
Here's the five ways The Lone Ranger aims to bring back the big-screen Western:
1. Depp's Tonto: No Sidekick. Stanch, painted in cracked-white make-up, Depp plays the tribe-less wanderer as big as Jack Sparrow, but less drunk. Most of the story (including, an unnecessary framing device) is told from Tonto's point of view. Does that make Hammer's masked man as bland as Orland Bloom was in Pirates? Hammer has much better banter with Depp so we'll give him the edge.
2. Plenty of Impossible Escapes. Like his Pirates trilogy (Verbinski didn't do the fourth one), the director fiendishly places these actors in crazy, brainteaser-like contraptions. Most involve high-wire stunts atop trains, but this one is just Reid, a cliff and a really high place to take a nap.
3. Helena Bonham Carter's Gun-Leg Rules. Both the actress and her pistol-packing appendage might seem a better fit in a Tim Burton film, but every one of her scenes packs a wallop. As Red Harrington, she runs her brothel by keeping her ivory prosthetic's sights on customers who get all handsy.
4. Like a Live-Action Red Dead Redemption. If you're a fan of Westerns, the photography by Bojan Bazelli (Rock of Ages) is splendid on the big screen. An early ambush lets viewers get lost in the grandeur of giant, beautiful landscapes. Hooray that vistas this breathtaking don't need no stinkin' 3D glasses!
5. More Like The Lone Ranger Begins…At nearly two-and-a-half hours, only the last action-packed 30 minutes unleash John Reid (Hammer) as the masked avenger with his trusty steed Silver. Cue the William Tell Overture. A very rousing finale even if in the back of your mind you're thinking, "Finally…"
Is this what you wanted for a new tale of the masked ranger who works above the law? Or are you tired of Depp's over-the-top antics? Sound off in the comments!