Going with zero expectations I was pleasantly surprised that “The Lone Ranger” was more than minimally entertaining; primarily because of Johnny Depp’s characterization of “Tonto”, the reluctant Indian sidekick of “John Reid” aka “The Lone Ranger”.
Armie Hammer, adequately morphs, from an Eastern -educated, pristine, nerdy lawyer (John Reid) into the “masked man” after his lawman brother “Dan” ( tough, true interpretation by James Badge Dale) is grotesquely murdered by one of contemporary screen’s most horrific villains “Butch Cavendish” a cannibal in the same limited league as “Hannibal Lecter”; William Fitchner is fiendishly genuine as the twisted, deformed, amoral miscreant.
The action is on par with today’s addiction for celestial thrills; roller coaster, gut -churning train capers; mystical white horse (“Silver”) flies through the sky, escapes, unscathed, burning buildings, gallops atop runaway rail cars, saving Tonto, the Ranger, in tandem with the exciting, familiar score of Gioacchino Rossini’s (1792-1868), William Tell Overture.
At times silly, ludicrous, preposterous, the scenario slides, whether intentional or not, into riotous, slapstick, hilarious joviality. Nonfictional Jonny Depp has faded through the years, becoming a composite of all the weird, androgynous, freakishly- funny and tragic characters he has imbued with validity, charm and iconic uniqueness; “Edward Scissorhands”, “Jack Sparrow”, “Willy Wonka”, “Mad Hatter”; but it is “Tonto”, the sad, acerbic Indian, looking for justified redemption that gifts Depp the maturity and superb insight into depicting a man whose unflappable humor, equanimity, has not deserted him as he outsmarts, outshines the belligerent, notoriously bigoted “white man”, and justifiably earns, for eternity, the distinguished, dignified sobriquet “noble savage.”
TWO & 3/4 STARS!!