DVD REVIEW: The Lone Ranger

Salisbury Journal: Johnny Depp asTonto and Armie Hammer as John Reid (Lone Ranger) Picture: PA Photo/Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Johnny Depp asTonto and Armie Hammer as John Reid (Lone Ranger) Picture: PA Photo/Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

IN 1933 San Francisco, a Native American mannequin (Johnny Depp) magically comes to life in order to recount the story of the Lone Ranger to a wide-eyed boy (Mason Cook).

In hazy flashback, handsome lawyer John Reid (Armie Hammer) arrives in 1869 Texas on the newly constructed railroad controlled by Latham Cole (Tom Wilkinson).

Soon after, outlaw Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner) escapes custody and John’s brother, Texas Ranger Dan Reid (James Badge Dale), leads the search party with John in tow.

The chase ends in carnage and John wakes from a bullet wound to meet Tonto (Depp), a quixotic Commanche Native American, who also has good reason to want Cavendish dead.

The Commanche encourages John to find the hero within by donning a mask, and together they hunt the outlaw, taking a small detour via the brothel run by no-nonsense madam, Red Harrington (Helena Bonham Carter).

Unfairly lambasted by critics on its cinema release, The Lone Ranger is an entertaining action adventure, distinguished by Depp’s theatrics and Bojan Bazelli’s stunning cinematography.

The West has seldom looked so splendidly wild and rugged.

Unquestionably, the 149-minute running time will leave viewers feeling saddle-sore and the film noticeably drags its spurs in the middle section.

However, when it comes to action, Gore Verbinski’s film delivers at a canter, including two outrageous set pieces aboard moving trains that are a thrilling combination of old-fashioned stunt work and pyrotechnics.

The title of the film may be The Lone Ranger, but this is Depp’s show and once again, he is given carte blanche to conjure a comic creation out of the ether.

DAMON SMITH

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