Wow, I had such high expectations for The Lone Ranger. Big budget, low CGI and of course there's Johnny Depp. I did the rare "see a movie on opening night" and caught the 10:50 XD showing at Cinemark Alliance. There were less than a dozen people in the theater. After the first 30 minutes, I considered reducing that number by 1. They butchered the story, then they gave it the Disney treatment.
I forced myself to sit thru the entire film hoping that at some point it would redeem itself. I was sadly mistaken as it sank deeper into the abyss. This is a bad movie.
Don't get me wrong, little kids that have never read, heard or seen The Lone Ranger or read a history book will probably love it. Everyone else, not so much. It's the "Pearl Harbor" of westerns.
It tries to be a western, a kid flick and an action movie all at the same time. It's like they tried to jam everything they could think of into the film without thinking how it would actually fit in the film. Things like the wild train chase down the side of The Rockies, Utah isn't in Texas, horses can't fly and rabbits aren't cannibals. Little things like that.
There are some beautiful visuals and Johnny Depp gives a wonderful performance. A majority of the stunts are actual stunts instead of CGI. But the script is pure junk. One slight redeeming point is the homage paid to The Wild Bunch at the beginning. It was subtle, but well played. Too bad the rest of the film didn't follow suit. Sam Peckinpah is spinning in his grave.
The critics have not been kind. This review was particularly spot on:
Alfonso Duralde, The Wrap: "'The Lone Ranger' is a drag as an action movie, it's not funny in its attempts at self-parody, and it feels like a Western made by people working off a checklist of tropes without ever really understanding the genre. Verbinski and his writers have taken a promising idea and put a silver bullet in its head."
SPOILERS! (and their fixes):
Get rid of the narrator and the kid, abandon the wimp persona of John Reid, ditch the "magic" and pay attention to continuity.