The Lone Ranger

The ads for The Lone Ranger didn’t inspire me and Johnny Depp hamming it up as a terribly over-made-up Tonto almost turned me off from watching, but the movie was surprisingly enjoyable.

As usual we can’t expect too much from a modern movie, except by luck or accident. Those of us old enough to remember the original story might have hoped for competence and heroism, but that is frowned upon in what passes for modern art of any kind. So the Lone Ranger was a rather thick incompetent who fell into his heroic role by accident; Tonto was brave (yeah, yeah, in both senses) competent (well, he was a Native American, and therefore political correctness demands he was the smart one of the duo) but plagued by the demons and bad mistakes of his past.

Also annoying was ┬áthe Ranger’s idiotic notion of being “good”: refusing to mete out instant justice to murderers on a rampage – leading to vast amounts of death and destruction that could have been avoided just by letting Tonto shoot the bastard in the first place. It’s not as if there is any doubt of guilt when the villain just shot two people in cold blood. But I did say the Lone Ranger was made out to be an idiot.

So don’t expect to be uplifted, but you can expect to be entertained. I’m not especially fond of Johnny Depp, who tends to play it crazy, but in this case his portrayal of this strange yet competent version of Tonto worked. Tonto’s casual contempt for the Lone Ranger leads to some comedic highlights too. The two of them work, with the cynical but able Tonto a good foil for the idealistic, square-jawed accidental hero of the Ranger.

So overall, worth a watch as long as you take it on its own terms as a light comedy inspired by the story of the Lone Ranger, not a portrayal of a “hero of the Wild West.”

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