The Lone Ranger

Certificate 12A, 149 minutes, ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Before writing this I went onto Rotten Tomatoes to see what they had to say – with a score of just 29%, I was intrigued to find out why everyone seems to hate this movie. It’s been branded a big budget flop in America, where it came out 6 weeks before it opened here.

Okay, so it had massive budget overruns and “production problems”, and the American press seems to think they’ve gone off Johnny Depp. But what matters at the end of the night is what you see on the silver screen, yesno? That’s what we paid our £15 quid a month Cineworld Unlimited subs for, right?

Armie Hammer is John Reid, a young city lawyer returning to his Texas home town when he gets caught up in a daring prisoner escape on the train in which he’s travelling. He’s deputised as a Ranger by his brother (James Badge Dale) to hunt down the escaped outlaw, Cavendish (William Fitchner). The posse is ambushed, and Reid, the only survivor is rescued by the deranged Comanche, Captain Jack Tonto, played by Johnny Depp with a dead bird stuck on his head and whiteface makeup(!) Reid vows to avenge his brother’s death and bring Cavendish to justice, but soon discovers there’s much more at stake.

There are also excellent appearances by Tom Wilkinson as Cole, the railroad company boss, and Helena Bonham Carter as Red, the brothel madam.

The Americans might have rejected it, but that doesn’t mean The Lone Ranger is a bad film. It isn’t. The performances are brilliant, thee cinematography is breathtaking, the action and the stunts are reminiscent of Harold Lloyd and Raiders of the Lost Ark, and dare I say it, I was reminded slightly of Depp’s animated movie, Rango.

The geography is a little dodgy though (even I know that Monument Valley isn’t in Texas!)

I will concede that at 2 1/2 hours it’s a bit long, but not fidgety-noticeably so. Yes there was the mad rush for the exit as soon as the merest whiff of the credits roll started (they all missed Depp’s walk off into the sunset), but that’s usual these days.

As Rossini’s William Tell Overture plays over Silver galloping alongside a runaway train, it’s Saturday mornings as a kid, all over again! 7/10

Go/No Go Rating… Go