What’s With The Mask?

Last night my wife and I went and saw the reboot of The Lone Ranger.  Growing up I had a passing interest in the Lone Ranger, I recall even having a Lone Ranger and Tonto action figures including their horses at some point.  I think I had a toy verision of the Lone Ranger’s pistol as well.  I was never a hard core fan of the series, but it was something I grew up with.  Like most boys my age the whole mythos of cowboys and indians was a somewhat regular staple of my imagination, but honestly goblins and dragons were more my thing.

When the trailers came out I didn’t really catch my attention too much.  I figured it’d either be passable or god-awful.  I knew I’d be seeing it either way since my wife has a fixation with Johnny Depp for some reason…

Anyways, by the time the final credits rolled I was very pleased by the movie.  It didn’t take itself TOO seriously, nor was it utter camp.  I think that they managed to balance the action sequences well with the comedy.  That’s not always easy to do.  I felt that the overall plot was an interesting one, managing to give the origin story of the Lone Ranger while also setting things up for future stories.  The way that Tonto was handled was much better then the original series.  In the new movie he’s not merely a sidekick but a major character that takes an active role in the plot, and we get to learn his origin and motivations as well.  Tonto is a flawed character which makes him extremely interesting and not merely the comedic fodder he may come across as in the promos.  In some ways, Tonto is more interesting then the Lone Ranger.  I would’ve prefered to know a bit more about the Lone Ranger’s backstory but it makes sense that they only suggested things rather then sidetracked into his past.  Where as Tonto’s backstory was closely tied to the main plot line and therefore made sense to include in the storyline, the Lone Ranger’s didn’t and would’ve slowed the plot down if they’d delved into it.

Overall, I thought that the acting was suberb and the overall set designs and costumes did a great job of establishing the setting.  Although there were some scenes that were obviously CGI it never really stood out, which is a good thing.  The stunt work in the action sequences was fantastic, and added to the tension/suspense of those scenes.  I also liked the fact that they broke away with the Hollywood tradition of the good guy getting the girl in the end, leaving it open ended for possibly future films.

Despite all that at times the action and comedy reach a somewhat absurd level.  A horse suddenly running across the top of a speeding train, for example.  This doesn’t take away from the movie, especially since they are consistent with the over the top aspect of the movie at times, but I think they could’ve done away with some of it and still had a great movie.

Fans of the original will be pleased to know that the origin story is on par with the original Lone Ranger, there’s not much revamping.  Also the manner in which they use the legendary theme song of the Lone Ranger during the climax of the movie is brilliant.  And a nod to the notorious ”hi-ho silver, away!” is perhaps the best comedic scene in the movie.

I plan on picking this up when its released on dvd/blu ray.  It’s a fun action/comedy with great production levels and acting.

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