Saturday, December 7, 2013

3 Short Paragraphs: The Lone Ranger

2013, Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, The Ring) -- download

I am of that generation who probably saw re-runs of the TV show remake of the radio show. Like kids today playing with Star Wars or Master of the Universe toys of their parents generation, I had an action fig... no, it was a doll, of the Lone Ranger in his blue suit and white hat. But I was not very well versed in his mythology. Knowing myself, I added a whole new mythos to the character probably involving magic and monsters and superpowers -- he wore a mask, you see. Gore Verbinski, while having the name of an aged director who once did arcane art films, is not much older than me so he is probably as exposed to the character in much the way I am. Like the theme park ride the inspired the first blockbuster in his name, he is inspired by something that probably more appropriately belongs to a that other generation writing his paycheck.

The ads for this movie were terrible. Just terrible. It was if Michael Bay had cut them together while working with the Farrelly Bros. It was all explosions and obvious comedy. And their choice of Depp as the faithful Indian companion Tonto (you know what that means, right?) was a controversial choice. Well, controversial to  those that believe only people of the race in question can play characters of said race. But Verbinski, Disney and Depp are forever entwined so no complaints were going to change that. And no, Depp thinking he might be 1/8 Cherokee on his Grandmother's side doesn't help the matter. I wasn't keen on the movie in the theatre but something... something about it tweaked my interest. Maybe it was a line from a review describing Tonto constantly trying to feed the dead bird on his head. Tonto is dumbell in latin languages.

While this is a movie meant for the big screen, with wide complicated sweeping shots, it works OK on its own, on the smalls screen. Well, as small as any widescreen HDTV is these days. And it worked for me. The comedy is there, satirical and wry. It mostly stems from Armie Hammer's ranger constantly being at odds with his Indian sidekick. I would say spirit guide, but that title goes to the horse Silver. Tonto is cracked, broken by events from his past and cast out from his tribe. Reid the Ranger is a dead man risen, an avenging spirit Tonto believes cannot die and therefore, is assigned to righting the wrongs against his people and the current ones, against all the peoples of America. So, rollicking adventure ensues. Yeah, there are some pretty big explosions but strangely enough, they work. And the feeding of the dead bird never stopped cracking me up.