A review of The Lone Ranger

Full disclosure: I was a huge fan of The Lone Ranger when I was a kid. Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels could do no wrong, in my eyes. Now, fast-forward forty years.

As a writer, I know it’s strictly forbidden to speak poorly of your critics. But then it occurred to me that these aren’t critics of my novels, so I should feel free to speak my mind.

So I must ask professional critics who gleefully savaged Disney’s The Lone Ranger: did we watch the same movie?

The Lone Ranger has been described as a “clunky two hour grind“, a “runaway train“, an “unholy mess with slapstick antics“, something that “not even Johnny Depp can rescue.”

Only the guy at Forbes got it mostly right: The Lone Ranger is a “fun summer ride.”

His only mistake was to say Pirates of the Caribbean was a better film.

Let’s face it: Pirates was a lot of fun but in reality the first movie had no plot. The entire movie was literally based on a two-minute ride in an amusement park.

Johnny Depp plays Tonto.

Johnny Depp plays Tonto.

I never bothered watching any of the sequels. Johnny Depp wasn’t just the best thing going in that quartet of movies; he was all Pirates had. And yet, that was more than enough to sell tickets.

By comparison, The Lone Ranger actually tells a story.

No, it wasn’t perfect. The scene with the rabbits was bizarre and disturbing, and the little kid dressed as the Lone Ranger could have been edited out with no harm to the main story.

No, it was nowhere near as brilliantly conceived as Memento, not flawless executed like LA Confidential, or as quite as funny as The Princess Bride.

But it didn’t have to be. The movie only had to be entertaining, and it was. Very entertaining.

And after all these years, I finally know that “Kemosabe” means “wrong brother.”

My wife’s first words after the final curtain dropped were “that was excellent” and “I definitely want to see it again.”

This same woman said of Pirates that considering the money it grossed, she expected it to be better.

So these aren’t merely the jaded words of a lifelong fan, but the opinion of a woman who’s hard to please when it comes to movies.

The Lone Ranger


Johnny Depp plays Tonto.

Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as The Lone Ranger.

When I was a kid, my superheroes were mostly dark and troubled.

Even my favorite Western crime fighter, the Lone Ranger, wore a mask.

From those days of black-and-white television, there has been only one person who was The Lone Ranger, Clayton Moore.

And one, and only one actor could play Tonto: Jay Silverheels. That was then; this is now.

If the new Disney Lone Ranger movie starring Johnny Depp as Tonto proves to be half as good as the trailers suggest, I’ll be a happy camper when it comes to theaters next month.

Of course the trailer to Skyfall looked great, and that movie itself only mediocre.

Hopefully, that won’t be a problem with The Lone Ranger.

It was  a Ranger…riding a white horse. Got some lunatic Indian with him. They’re coming for you…

Yes, they are. I’m ready.

After piquing her interest with a few priceless Johnny Depp scenes as Tonto, my wife has agreed that can be my birthday present, only a few days early.

The last time Lisa watched a movie that was not on DVD it was the final installment of Lord of the Rings, so getting her to agree to go to the theater was no small achievement.

In the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Johnny Depp was an absolute delight as Captain Jack Sparrow. In that movie, Depp single-handedly turned a somewhat mediocre script loosely based on the two minute ride at Disney World into a two hour movie that was actually worth watching, at least in his scenes, mainly using his uncanny talent as a comedic actor.

I didn’t bother with the sequels to Pirates; after all, the ride itself was only two minutes long.

But now Disney is looking to create the same magic with the same producer, director and lead actor, though with a whole new franchise.

And I think it’s gonna be huge. I can’t wait to hear the William Tell Overture once more.

Johnny Depp has a particular talent for producing brilliant facial expressions, even in the midst of an action scene for comic effect.

Based on what I’ve seen so far, Johnny Depp is going to make a great “lunatic” Indian.

He’s so good, he’s already been named an honorary Comanche.

The horse that plays Silver might might even deserve an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor.