Friday, July 05, 2013

The Lone Ranger

I grew up watching reruns of the old black and white Lone Ranger show with Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels. In the 1980s they made a major motion picture based on the character. It bombed.

So, you are a Disney executive and you want to revive the character. The old TV show was slow and boring by today's standards. You don't want to make the same mistakes as the 1980s movie so what do you do? You call on the team that took a failing genre (pirate movies) and made them into a multi-billion dollar franchise and have them give the Lone Ranger the same treatment.

There are a lot of similarities between the Pirates of the Caribbean (especially the first movie) and the Lone Ranger. Among other things, both feature Johnny Depp as a not-completely-sane mentor. Trains are substituted for ships. A lot of the stunts and fight choreography is duplicated.

The core story of the Lone Ranger is still there, intact. It is just told in a different way. The narrative device is an ancient Tonto telling the story in the 1930s to a boy who is dressed as the Lone Ranger. This allows a few surprises in the script since some parts at the end are told out of sequence.

Along the way we learn why Tonto is wearing a dead bird on his head and that even the other indians think is it strange.

After two days release the movie is already being labeled a flop which is premature. The actual weekend hasn't started yet. The movie is a lot of fun and hopefully will get some good word-of-mouth.

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