Oscar® Nominee for Best Visual Effects, Best Makeup and Hairstyling
The Lone Ranger
Reviewed by: Pamela Gardner
Western Action Crime Adventure Adaptation IMAX
2 hr. 15 min.
Year of Release:
July 3, 2013 (wide)
DVD: December 17, 2013
“Never take off the mask.”
I’ve wanted to see this movie for quite some time, so I packed up my kids and off we went. This over 2 hour long film opens in 1933 at a San Francisco carnival. We follow a young boy dressed in a Lone Ranger costume, through an Old West exhibit. The boy sees vivid pictures and animals, then comes across an elderly Indian man. The boy stares at the life size “model” Indian then… he moves. Startled, the boy continues to eyeball the figure until he finally speaks two words “Kemo Sabe?”
We now know that the Indian is an elderly Tonto (Johnny Depp). Tonto begins to regale the boy with the origins and history on The Lone Ranger. John Reid (Armie Hammer) a recent law school graduate travels on a train to the home of his youth. He wants to bring law and justice to the land. He calls man’s law book his “bible,” when a woman offers to pray for him.
Unbeknownst to John, there is a criminal Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner) chained up about reach his own justice via hanging in the next car. Chained next to this villain we see a young Tonto, awaiting his sentence for “being Indian.” Cavendish breaks free and is about to escape when he runs into an unsuspecting John Reid. John, not being a fan of guns, quickly becomes the prisoner and is chained up next to Tonto. A series of exciting events ensue and ends with the villain escaping, Tonto is in chains, again and John is pretty roughed up. Entering his home town, John meets up with his older brother, Dan Reid (James Badge Dale) who is a Texas Ranger, and vows to recapture Cavendish and deputizes John to join in the pursuit.
With that as an opening, I must admit my interest was piqued. Let us start with the acting, it is superb. Johnny Depp is impeccable. Armie Hammer was virtually unknown to me before this film; after watching, I hope to see his other work. As the Lone Ranger, he is tall, courageous and, dare I say, handsome. In fact, the entire cast is quite impressive. In addition, I must give a separate mention to the villain Cavendish played by Fichtner, an especially cruel and dark hearted criminal.
While I did enjoy the film, it had content I could have done without, especially since I had my 4 and 7 year old with me. The violence is heavy. People are senselessly murdered, men and women are slapped and beaten. Blood is shown, and my kids had to shut their eyes.
Language was moderate, including about 7 hells and 3 damns; they were unnecessary.
There are some suggestive sexual themes; the are, however, minor.
Also, there is a running anti-white man motif that really began to annoy me, personally.
I feel I must also mention there are conflicting spiritual themes that might cause some parents to pause.
God is the True Judge, and even with a world that is full of darkness and corruption, He will exact justice and judge the world. Also, sometimes we as Christians will be called upon to stand against such darkness and be salt and light.
Overall, I did enjoy the film, the acting, the direction, and the cinematography. It did however go on a little long. I would caution taking young children.
Violence: Heavy to extreme / Profanity: Moderate—“God,” “My G*d” (2), “Oh G*d,” “Oh my G*d,” ““Swear to G*d,” “hell” (13), “damn” (7), “*ss” / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
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