When it comes to turning one’s passion into reality, few personalities are more strong-willed than Johnny Depp and producer Jerry Bruckheimer…
The long and winding road they traveled in order to turn the 1950’s Lone Ranger television series into a powerful tribute western took six years to pull off.
One major setback came in 2011 when Disney announced that production on the film would be delayed due to budget concerns—which were apparently spiraling at an alarming pace.
After alterations to the massive cinematic undertaking, production continued.
The final industry-estimated price tag: A whopping $250 million.
The good news is that the money is all up there on the big screen for fans of all ages to enjoy.
The movie opens in early 1930’s San Francisco where Depp’s Tonto character is now a living relic in an old west diorama and he’s re-telling the story of John Reid, a fresh-out-of-law school grad, to a wide-eyed young cowpoke.
The story is of Reid’s big adventure as he attempted the tame the West with justice. However being armed with a mouth full of legal texts didn’t help much in trying to help his Texas Ranger and brother Dan Reid capture legendary, escaped outlaw Butch Cavendish.
Yet with guidance and the funky wisdom of a quirky Indian scout named Tonto, we learn of Reid’s transformation from a man of law into the masked legend of justice. Taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes learn to work together and fight greed and corruption.
“You want me to wear a mask?”
“The men who want to kill you think you are dead. Better keep it that way.”
And when Hans Zimmer’s great musical score finally erupts into the classic William Tell Overture—man, it’s goosebumps time.
The film’s settings of Colorado, Moa, Utah and Cimarron Canyon State Park in New Mexico are magnificent. And visual effects created by Industrial Light & Magic are perfection.
What we’ve got here is an often tongue in cheek look at the old west. A thrilling adventure infused with action and humor in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through NEW eyes.
Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger perfectly goes through the motions of a corny, over-dramatic character resulting in some very funny sequences. As for John Christopher Depp’s portrayal of native American spirit warrior Tonto, it’s
pretty well indescribable. You’ve got to see it and experience it to believe it.
Much credit here goes to director Gore Verbinski who, along with Bruckheimer and Depp are the mighty trio of Disney’s bombastic PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise.
Which begs the question: Will this film spark a new Disney theme park ride?
149 minutes of PG-13 rated homage to legendary westerns. It’s John Ford meets TRUE GRIT—with a dose of BLAZING SADDLES thrown in for good measure.
THE LONE RANGER also features Helena Bonham Carter, William Fichtner and Tom Wilkinson.
My take? Go see it the way it was meant to be seen, in a theater, Kimosabe.
I’m tipping my white hat with 4 out of 5 fingers.
Catch JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. on KMBZ Fm & Am / Also anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND, Channel 411 / And throughout Nebraska on NEBRASKA ON DEMAND.