This may of course be a film without a clearly defined audience as the comic book was first published in 1933 and the television series in the 1950s and yet this predictably will be re-evaluated in years to come as a misunderstood film, with fans making this something of a cult film.
The film stars Armie Hammer as John Reid (AKA ‘The Lone Ranger’) and Johnny Depp as the masked man’s faithful Native American sidekick, Tonto.
Hammer is the earnest, bumbling crusader in the mold of Jimmy Stewart in ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ a bookish pacifist becoming a humble, practical-minded gunman or John Wayne’s single minded journey for justice in ‘The Searchers’. Depp plays the wandering Comanche Indian spirit with his own mission of justice, disillusioned and driven mad by pain he endured decades ago, sensitively shown in a sad backstory, looking for a life balance.
The film's director, Gore Verbinski, who worked with Depp on the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, gives his characters space to breathe and for the audience to think about representations of ethnic and white alike and wonderfully references, Jodorowsky, Leonne and even Keaton’s ‘The General’. It is a tale about national myths and counter myths, the American Robin Hood and the noble savage and the rewriting of ‘How the West was Won’.
This is a big budget franchise film and not always subtle yet is also a clever series of opposites: violent, gruesome and sweet, clever and reflexive and goofy and holds a lovely torch to the Sergio Leone westerns, go see kemosabe!