The Lone Ranger *****

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Run Time: 149 mins Cert: 12A

 

Synopsis: Tonto (Depp) remembers his days with John Reid (Hammer) and how the sole survivor of a massacre of Texas Rangers by the notorious outlaw Butch Cavendish (Fichtner) and his gang became the masked man bringing justice in the Old West.

 

The makers of the Pirates of the Caribbean series return with a classic high octane adventure, that studios used to release in days gone by.

 

Firstly forgot everything that has been highlighted in the media. The movie may have cost $215 million to make and delayed by two years, but like World War Z it is no where near the disaster that many critics have made this out to be.

 

The story initially written by Pirates writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, with a second take conducted by Revolutionary Road’s Justin Haythe have made an interesting take on an origin story taken from the sidekicks point of view. Tonto with his broken English and madcap ranting is very much the brains of the outfit. While Reid is not the brave and dashing vigilante but a bumbling fool with a hatred of guns although he is still a loner. Even the actual episodic structure feels a refreshing change in a summer blockbuster.

 

Depp and Hammer make a fantastic double act, both reacting with each other in perfect timing. The relationship between the two leads plays out like a wacky western Odd Couple. It may play for laughs, but it does not feel too ridiculous, rather more engaging than distracting.

 

While classic character actor William Fichtner plays the heart eating villain Butch Cavendish, with such venom that every moment he chews the scenery, he steals every scene that he is in. Luther’s Ruth Wilson gives the role of unconventional adventurous damsel emotional gravitas. While Tom Wilkinson’s character feels slightly underdeveloped.

 

Gore Verbinski has made a stunning looking film with spectacular mind blowing action scenes. All the money spent is clearly on screen. Not since the John Ford westerns has Monument Valley looked so beautiful.

 

The movie is flawed. There are far too many characters. Wilkinson’s character needed to be more empathetic and the middle act seems to drag slightly and could almost certainly have cut the overlong running time down.

 

But this is definitely the most enjoyable and fun movie of the summer. Audiences will find it difficult to stay still in their seats once Rossini’s William Tell Overture finally erupts during the finale.

Reviewed by Paul Logan

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