America, you’re letting me down. First the A-Team, then John Carter, and now The Lone Ranger. Why don’t you like these movies? They’re better than 99% of Hollywood’s offerings, and the fact that none of them will get a sequel makes me sad. These movies deserve to become franchise properties with multiple sequels — we got four Twilight movies, for crying out loud! As the venerable Bill the Cat would say… pptthth!
I’m a Lone Ranger fan, and have a shelf full of vintage toys and games based on the iconic character. After hearing all the negative feedback about the movie I was afraid that it might effectively ruin the character for the current generation. I hope that’s not the case, because after watching the movie this weekend, I have to say that it was a fun movie — not a great movie, but definitely a fun popcorn flick — the action scenes were awesome, and the deadpan humor was perfect.
Possibly the most surprising aspect of the movie for me was that I totally enjoyed Johnny Depp’s Tonto. This was the one element that scared me the most going into the movie (that bird!?), but after five minutes it was apparent that Depp absolutely owned the character. Tonto 2.0 is okay in my book.
The biggest problem with the movie for me was the lead actress, Ruth Wilson. I just could not get past her odd looks. Seriously, her upper lip enters the room a full thirty seconds before the rest of her — it’s really strange. Her role was a bit of a throwaway role anyway, and they probably could have taken up the romance factor a few more notches — just with some other actress. (I have the same reaction about Kiera Knightley’s overly large mouth — Gore Verbinski and I have decidedly different tastes.)
I had heard that the movie was overly violent, and was waiting for those moments to arise — and kept waiting. I see more violent scenes in network TV commercials than I saw in this movie. Get this [SPOILER ALERT] the Lone Ranger never kills anyone and is even a pacifist! No doubt, the plot could have been tidied up a bit, and the emotional level could have been amplified, but the fact that this movie wasn’t a carbon copy of every other action movie being made, and they didn’t feel the need to destroy an entire city to prove that the bad guys were REALLY bad, makes it A-OK in my book (well, there was that one Indian village).
When the William Tell Overture started to play in the final action sequence, I caught myself smiling and probably would have let out a little cheer if I wasn’t sitting alone in a dark room. Aw, who am I kidding, I did let out a little “whoop!” — and I may have clapped just a tiny bit. Sorry, but the movie was fun!
Admittedly, I’m probably one of the easiest critics when it comes to blockbuster movies. If things go boom, and an occasional one-liner is spoken, I’m usually good. Want to fly an F-35 over the streets of D.C. and blow up a multi-million dollar overpass to get someone who might possibly be the bad guy? Go right ahead, I’ll get the popcorn. I don’t understand people who mutter, “yeah, right,” while watching action movies. Suspend disbelief! Of course you can’t survive a nuclear blast by crawling into a fridge — it’s a movie! If movies were based on reality, all we’d see is a bunch of ugly people complaining about their lives — leave that to the Indie films!
The popular complaint about the Lone Ranger seems to be that it was long. So what. In this age of binge-watching TV series, why is a 2-1/2 hour movie so reviled? Granted, I choose to watch the movies in my comfy leather chair at home, so maybe that is too long for the theater, but I love a good long movie. Want to make a 9-hour Hobbit movie? Fine by me Peter, go for it! I’ll even sit through the extended versions on the DVD, as long as the movies are entertaining — film them in real-time! — I’ll still tuck my dollar bills into your sword belt.
No, The Lone Ranger is not the best movie ever made, but I thoroughly enjoyed it — I’ll give it three Heeyaws! out of five. Negative comments always drown out the positive with big budget movies like this, and one of these days I’ll learn to just ignore those green tomato splats. What did you think of the movie? I can’t be the only one who liked it, can I? Hello?
I can’t say I like it, probably a 2/5 for me. Was it an absolutely terrible flick? No. Would I ever watch it again? No.
Interesting you brought up the length of the film, it never really occurred to me personally while watching. Perhaps our culture has such a terrible lack of an attention span that caused some to point that out.
I think my biggest gripe with the movie was the lack of character development. I just really didn’t care about any of them really. I will say that William Fichtner as Butch was well done I really enjoyed him as the villain. Gives me a slight glimmer of hope for the new TMNT movie later this year.
Yeah, other than Tonto’s story, there wasn’t much in the way of character development at all. That’s why I wish they’d make more. This movie seemed to set the stage for the Lone Ranger character rather than be about him.
And William Fichtner is always good in his roles. 😉
Erik Johnson Illustrator says
I can’t speak to the quality of the Lone Ranger, but I think I may have been a little too eager to hate on John Carter since it wasn’t anything like the Frazetta painting I grew up on. The movie certainly wasn’t great, but in hindsight I think I may have been too harsh in calling it terrible. Maybe in a couple years I’ll revisit it with a better opinion.
I think that’s one of the biggest problems with these movies — if it’s different from what people grew up with, they automatically have an opinion on what it should and shouldn’t be. I know I had reservations about Taylor Kitsch as “John Carter (of Mars),” but Disney made an admirable effort.
Dex (@Dex1138) says
I liked it when I saw it in the theater. I did feel it could have been 20 minutes shorter to keep it moving along but I didn’t really notice it in the theater.
I have a few problems with Crystal Skull, the fridge is not one of them. Indy and the Ranger are pulp action. Ridiculous things will happen. Although you can go too far, like when Mutt ditches his cycle in the library and they slide for entirely too far on the floor for comedic effect.
I really enjoyed the coordination of Ranger’s final train fight, it was just the right combo of crazy and humor. And even as someone that’s not a huge fan of the original, there is just something imprinted in my DNA that gets all happy and excited when the Overture finally comes along.
Maybe the floor had just been waxed and buffed. 😉
The final action sequence really was a great moment — Tonto on that ladder was superb.
Joshua Raymond says
I really liked both The Lone Ranger and John Carter. They were FUN movies, in the same vein as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and their movie serial predecessors. It might be a case that modern audiences don’t go for that sort of thing anymore, which would be a shame. I think it was probably more a case of bad marketing than anything else though.
John Carter had a bad reputation months before it was even released. I saw it anyway, because I am a fan of the original stories, and I was surprised by how good it was. I thought it should have spawned a whole franchise, like Star Wars. Maybe when the NEW Star Wars movies come out (if the films are good, and in the spirit of the original films) these types of movies will be able to make a comeback.
I haven’t seen the A-Team movie, but if you’re lumping it in with the Lone Ranger and John Carter, I guess I’ll have to check it out.
The A-Team was fun — a bit more violent than the other two movies mentioned, but still pretty tame compared to most modern movies.
You mention that the marketing might have sunk these movies, and I think you’re spot on. In watching the trailers for the Lone Ranger movie, the vibe is much darker than the movie was — not sure why Disney decide on that approach but I guess that’s why they make the big bucks!
The Toy Box says
I have one rule for movies – Entertain me, don’t insult me. I’m happy to suspend disbelief, but don’t treat me like I’m an movie going idiot. The worst offenders are those movies with huuuuuuuge plot holes. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Star Trek (2009) come to mind every time I think of movies that want to insult my intelligence.
Paxton Holley says
I agree with you on A-Team and Lone Ranger. I thoroughly enjoyed both and I would love to see sequels. And I’m a fan of both of those franchises’ original TV shows.
I can’t agree on John Carter. I didn’t think it was a bad movie, but I didn’t think it was very good either. Kitsch just can’t carry a movie. PERIOD. Carter and Battleship proved that. I’ve never read the original Mars stories so I can’t even really compare to the originals.
I think the binge watching TV shows is easier because you have definite breaks in the action with the episode stops. With a movie, it’s a full 2.5 hours without a specific break to hard stop. Not that I agree with that, since you can just PAUSE and move on the next day, but that break in action can kill the momentum of the movie when you come back the next day. There have been several movies the wife and I have had to do that on on evenings when we can’t stay awake long enough to finish. That’s not my ideal way to watch a movie, but it happens.
Loved reading this! I liked Lone Ranger a whole lot and felt so out of place as everyone else was bashing it. I thought it was a lovely flick, entertaining, and very watchable. Not the best, but much better than it got credit for being. Great article!
Yes! A kindred spirit. 🙂