Hi-Yo White Spirit Horse take us away to the next reboot!
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures in association with Walt Disney Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Infinitum Nihil and Blind Wink present…
I could still remember my Father promising me to watch the film but became too tired and went to sleep while my Mother and Auntie absconded me to the cinema to watch the 1981 film “The Legend of the Lone Ranger”. Although I have not fully understood what the film was all about, the sense of a masked man with his side kick hunting bad guys has inclined me to believe that there were heroes who will save the day (and return from the dead) no matter the cost!
The prologue was set in 1933 where a child in a cowboy suit enters a miniature museum in a circus, the curious fellow actually awakens a seeming mannequin who was actually a worn out American Comanche Indian whose life has turned to the worst while reminiscing his adventures with his partner in crime fighting, as he tells the young boy that he was really hungry and to”never take off the mask”…
The legend of the law man from the west originated from a radio series who was created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker that eventually spawned tv series both in live action and in animated form, films and even in comic books which also went through a handful of publishers from Dell Comics, Gold Key Comics, Hemmet’s Journal and Topps Comics were working to get the theme right but Dynamite Entertainment changed all that even giving The Texas Ranger an Eisner Award nomination in 2007. From so many reincarnations, Director Gore Verbinski (The Mexican) who also from the same minds who brought us the Academy Award Winner “Rango” unfortunately overused plots and ran out of steam from the seeming potential summer blockbuster!
You can actually see and feel the director’s penchant for comedic bantering between the protagonists let alone the action sequences that actually involves a follow through predicament after the other. More so, with all the ruckus, how could anyone survive being thrown hundreds of meters from a runaway freight train?
The western genre has been on a lockdown with lazy stories that incorporates vigilantism, supernatural stigma, futuristic hypocrisy and absurd technological advancements where studios and writers should rather focus on actual premises that validates historical accounts, to the men and women who contributed to building communities into states through developing business and partnerships while instilling the political as well as social responsibilities which made Americans known to the world even in this unforgiving era.
For a lead actor who hides in the shadows of his “supposed” sidekick, Armie Hammer (The Social Network) as John Reid, a lawyer turned spiritually ambiguous “Kemosabe” also known as “wrong brother”, the actor reminds me so much of Jason Segel and Brendan Fraser who are underrated in terms of delivering real, genuine acting and the thing is, I don’t question their comedy but I can only just see them as one trick ponies!
Armie had only a few films under his belt and so far he had not shown any improvement with his acting let alone his good looks and stature in which he was able to land the part of playing Batman in an unfinished Justice League movie. Same goes with his current role but without any backbone to give some it a little more levity with the audience. As stated earlier, his comedy is subpar let alone his delivery of characters being portrayed because I can still recall that The Lone Ranger is a class act with nerves of steel unlike his nephew’s great grandson!
The ever evolving and unorthodox Johnny Depp (The Pirates of the Caribbean) is Tonto the “foolish one”! The reliable actor who actually the only reason I watched this film but tagging along with Armie gets his mojos sober who reminds me of dumb super heroes that has better associates like “The Green Hornet” who by the way has the same last name. Johnny has always been a box-office magnet especially in his projects with Tim Burton but it had the same effect with Gore which only brings into presumption that the Western films are dried out of ideas.
While jumping the on the band wagon, long time collaborator Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech) keeps her close working ties with Johnny and adding to the cast is veteran actor Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins) as rich man Latham Cole who were just there for support nothing more. At least William Fichtner (The Longest Yard) playing heartless, cold blooded villain Butch Cavendish put up more of a fight when it comes to delivering the goods.
From the start, the film had continuous delays in terms of ownership, lead casts finishing their respective projects and production problems in shooting. There was even a crew member who died while making it worse, chickenpox spread at one point. But not all were on a negative stand point, while traversing west side states, with Cinematographer Bojan Bazelli (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice), he was able to at least give the film’s epic landscapes with much definition and authenticity from Utah down to New Mexico (you can learn from here…I’m looking at you Jon Favreau).
With all the depravity and unfortunate circumstances it may have generally affected the viewing public’s interest in spite of tagging it with the hugely successful “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise along with the director and one of the main characters. It was complete in a sense of making it entertaining for the whole family but with all the ideas being thrown in to make it a constructive output, it deteriorated further with its typical proclivities of a western actioner while delving into clichéd plot of hijacking, locomotive train wrecks, quick draws and the appeal of no one is above the law with the exception of masked vigilantes (and people who wears dead birds on their heads and incite it as fashion statement).
In the end, it had funny moments courtesy of Johnny and that was it! There was no sense of direction on how to deliver the story, it was confusing and a lot of unnecessary segments that makes the predetermined film too long while adding insult was the cast (not all of them) who were not actually needed since it was all about the redemption and seeking justice aspect that clouded everyone even for the spirit that miraculously shows itself out of nowhere…