The first reviews for Wednesday’s “The Lone Ranger” are just starting to trickle out and they’re not good at all.
Just how bad are they?
The adaptation of the popular radio broadcast and TV series is sitting at 31% on Rotten Tomatoes. (That’s actually better than the 22% it was at earlier.)
Critics are ripping apart the Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer Western, making the reviews for “White House Down” seem generous. Even the “fresh” reviews are calling the “The Lone Ranger” a “hot mess.”
We shouldn’t be too surprised by the negative reactions.
Last year, the budget inflated from $215 to $250 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Wrap has a field day ripping apart the lackluster self-proclaimed “Western” referring to it as a drag and parody of the genre:
“The results are both joyless and seemingly endless, as its two-and-a-half-hour running time stretches out like a desert horizon barren of shade or water.”
What’s not sitting well with reviews? Everything from the length of the film, to it’s feeble attempts at humour, and even Depp as sidekick Tonto. Nearly the entire film, save the performance of Armie Hammer as the lead, has critics on edge.
Trying to decide whether to see the film? Here’s what to keep in mind:
It’s a bit violent for a Disney film. A guy gets his heart cut out and eaten by the villain (William Fichtner).
“There’s cold-blooded murder and declarations of vengeance, run-ins between the local Indians and the cavalry.”
“At one point in the film, one of the main villains played by William Fichtner cuts a man’s heart out of his chest and, in front of the immobilized Lone Ranger, eats it.”
It suffers from an over-stuffed, convoluted plot.
“The Hollywood Reporter” (THR):
“Verbinski doesn’t sufficiently set the tone and rules of the game from the outset, the uncertainty over which ripples throughout the film to deleterious effect.”
“Overlong, with a script that reads like a notes session no one ever organised into something coherent, and totally confused about what audience it supposedly plays to, “The Lone Ranger” is grim, ugly, and deeply unpleasant.”
“This team builds things just to blow them up, and by the film’s climax … what began as an elegantly epic, potentially realistic retelling of the Lone Ranger legend has devolved into Wile E. Coyote-style cartoon shenanigans.”
It’s unfortunate since Hammer’s efforts appear to be trampled by a stumbling film that’s unsure of what it wants to be.
“The madly handsome Hammer certainly delivers the Ranger’s requisite rectitude and straight-arrow determination, but the balance between full-on hero and camp figure teeters at times, a problem symptomatic of Verbinski’s difficulty in finding the right pitch for the project as a whole.”
“You can see how perfect a choice Hammer was in portraying this all-American hero. But that moment is over all too quickly, and then we’re back to the bloated spectacle.”
“I think Hammer does exactly what the script asks him to do, and more than ever, I’m convinced he’s a leading man worth watching, but they’ve imagined the character completely wrong, so he never gets a chance to shine.”
Usual Johnny Depp co-star Helena Bonham Carter seems out of place in the Western complete with peg leg.
“Carter seems to be hobbling in from another movie altogether in her brief appearance as a red-headed madame with a gun in her peg leg.”
“A whorehouse madam with a wooden gun leg (Helena Bonham Carter, apparently on loan from an aborted Tim Burton project)”
Overall consensus: Pass.
Unless your name is Kevin Costner, Westerns have never have never been safe bets or huge Hollywood blockbusters. A messy plot and a narrative that doesn’t appear to pick up until the final act plague Armie Hammer’s attempt at leading man status. It doesn’t help that this seems to be more of Johnny Depp’s film, too. With delays and a high budget, “The Lone Ranger” has appeared to suffer from being in the Disney vault for a few months too long.
If you’re looking for a film to take the family to this holiday weekend, check out the other new release, “Despicable Me 2” or Disney’s other film “Monsters University.”
Watch the trailer:
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